When you buy beads and throws from Arc, at 925 S. Labarre Road, Metairie, you help them help people with intellectual disabilities and delays. Arc employees, as well as hundreds of volunteers, sort and repackage recycled beads and trinkets.
Up until the 1960s, glass beads from Czechoslovakia were popular and widely thrown, but became obsolete when riders began throwing less expensive and more durable plastic beads.
Another new item offered by Arc is a result of a partnership with Bayou Throws: a unique selection of beads that are assembled in Metairie using pony beads that are made in the United States with recyclable materials, which means the beads can go into a recycling bin when you're tired of them, Aron Medders wrote in an email.
"What we use brand new, 100% virgin polystyrene pony beads direct from a manufacturer up in New Jersey. It's basically the same material as a soda bottle or butter tub. While we encourage folks to donate beads to the Arc, our beads can go into any city recycling bin as is,'' Medders said.
Arc is again offering several "fair-trade green items,'' including beads, a boa and a disc toy, all of which are handmade. The beads are created out of hand-rolled paper from magazines. The boas are produced out of recycled fabric, and a Frisbee-type toy, known as Pocket Disc, is created out of cloth that is hand-crocheted.
Arc will hold a bead sale on three consecutive weekends, Feb. 4, 11 and 18, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.
Regular weekday hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A list of items for sale and prices can be found here.