Since the Fort Hays State University Criminal Justice Club teamed up with Jana’s Campaign, thousands of handmade, beaded bracelets and resource cards have been distributed to students in Kansas and surrounding states.
The purpose of the Jana’s Jewelry project is to increase awareness of the signs of gender-based violence, according to Tammy Lynn, faculty adviser of the FHSU Criminal Justice Club.
“The Criminal Justice Club actually did a similar project in San Franciso for the Bay Area San Francisco Domestic Violence Shelter,” Lynn said. “That is where we were first introduced to the whole idea, and then we brought it back to Fort Hays with us.”
Upon their return, the club presented the project idea to Christie Brungardt, Jana’s mother who serves on the Jana’s Campaign board of directors. Brungardt currently travels to various schools to talk with groups of middle and high school students about domestic violence, and the loss of her daughter, Jana, who was killed in 2008 due to domestic violence.
“These cards have just been perfect. I can pass them out and the students can use them for a resource later,” Brungardt said. “It’s been a great project.”
While the project has seen great success, the groups are currently facing the problematic issue of not being able to produce enough bracelets to meet the demand of students they would like to reach.
Campus-wide events have previously been conducted to collaborate volunteers in an effort to help with the project. According to Lynn, “TMP-Marian High School brought two groups of students to campus and one to the Jana’s Campaign office, Jana’s Campaign staff coordinated two community wide events that were held at the Hadley Center, a retired teacher’s organization helps during their regular meetings, and various student organizations across campus have also helped during their scheduled meeting times.”
Despite all of the generous effort, though, the project still needs additional assistance from anyone in the community who can help, as the demand is so high.
A second campus-wide event has been organized through the Criminal Justice Club and is set for Feb. 21.
“We need people to come together, sit down, and string beads for the bracelets and tie them on to the card,” Brungardt said.
Having the ability to reach more students is life-changing, according to Brungardt, who said the cards and bracelets serve as a guide.
“The students will actually have something in their possession they can look to,” she said. “If they have a friend in a situation and maybe they think something is wrong, they can realize what the red flags are.”
Continuing to spread awareness and reach out to anyone who might need a little extra support is incredibly important, Brungardt said.
“Losing Jana was a tremendous loss. I will probably remain this passionate about spreading awareness until the day I die,” she said. “Tammy and her students do an amazing, and quite professional job, with this project.”
To help with the project, or to find out more, contact Lynn by calling (785) 628-5668 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.