October 15, 2015 5:00 am

Better Winnipeg: Local jewelry designer enlists teen’s help for philanthropy piece

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Local jewelry designer Hilary Druxman has created many beautiful philanthropy pieces over the years to raise money for different non-profit organizations.

What’s unique about the newest addition to her collection is that the design idea came from a 17-year-old, who was part of the process from start to finish.

“It was all her idea and we just played off it and supported it,” Druxman said of the pendant that was inspired by the chemical compound dopamine – a neurotransmitter in the brain.

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“She looked at the science behind mental health and some of the issues.”

The identity of the 17-year-old who worked on the design is being kept confidential. For the last three years she’s been receiving support from Marymound, a social services centre for young people in Manitoba.

“They definitely created a whole family for me which is something I didn’t really have before,” she explained. “The best part of this is how much Marymound has given me, and I can finally help give back.”

“I think it will bring awareness to some of the struggles some of these kids are having and some of the support in the community that’s out there for them,” Druxman said.

Marymound has provided support services and even a place to live for children in need for 105 years in Winnipeg. During that time, close to 85,000 children have been helped. Currently, Marymound works with 2,000 to 3,000 kids per year, including the 17-year-old asked to be involved in creating the philanthropy necklace with Druxman.

Mardy Yager, the manager of fund development at Marymound says the teenager selected to work with Druxman was a natural fit.

“She has come a long way on her journey with Marymound so we thought this was a nice way of celebrating her and the new service we’re going to be offering at Marymound,” said Yager.

Marymound is embarking on a multimillion dollar fundraising campaign to create a space specifically for young women with complex mental health needs, before they transition back into the community.

The money will be used to repurpose and stabilize the historic E.P. Leacock estate on Marymound’s Scotia Avenue property. It will house up to 12 young women.

“This service is going to help us get them back into the community in a healthy and supportive way so there’s less stumbles along the way as they transition back,” Yager said.

Not only is Yager hoping the specially designed necklace raises money for the capital campaign, the goal is that it will raise awareness about Marymound and the people it supports.

To find out more about the philanthropy necklace check out hilarydruxman.com

Learn more about Marymound at marymound.com

Better Winnipeg is a weekly feature that highlights people, events and organizations that make Winnipeg a better place to live. Share your story ideas with us at betterwinnipeg@globalnews.ca.

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