Cline Jewelers’ very own Gina Hawkins has a fairly typical morning commute to work. But in early August, she’ll be boarding a plane to embark on an atypical and incredibly rewarding trip to East Africa. Once there, Gina will meet not only several local gemstone miners and their families, but also gem cutter and Gem Legacy founder Roger Dery. Gem Legacy is a 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to support education, vocational training, and local economies in East African mining communities. There’s some shared connections between Roger and Gina. The first of which is obvious; they both have a love and appreciation for responsibly sourced gemstones. And in East Africa… there’s lots of them! Rhodolite, spessartine, mahenge, malaya, tsavorite, tanzanite, aquamarine, ruby, sapphire… to name a few. The other connection they share is their love for giving back. Education isn’t as prevalent in East African mining communities as it is in Edmonds, so hosting a book drive to provide educational resources to these communities seemed like a logical next step.
Gina, Andy Cline, and the rest of our Cline staff are asking for your donation of youth reading books ranging from baby books up to 7th grade reading level. These books will be provided to The Mwatate Children’s Home and Rescue Centre, an orphanage located in a small village in Kenya that acts as a school and safe haven for over 30 children, ages 5-18, who don’t have a home or family to live with. At the Mwatate Centre, the orphans have secure surroundings, 3 meals per day, camaraderie with friends, and activities and sports. Gem Legacy became aware of the Mwatate Centre through local gem miners who are passionate about their needs.
Because of Roger Dery’s vision for Gem Legacy and Gina’s drive to make her inaugural trip to Africa, the journey is mutually beneficial. Resources are provided to those in need, and abundant precious gemstones are brought back to America (right inside Cline Jewelers too) for purchase. Roger cuts, polishes, and inspects the gemstones so they are store ready and perfect to go home in your next jewelry purchase. Cline Jewelers is welcoming personal gem requests and orders so Gina can come back from Africa with the perfect gems just for your custom piece!
The book drive is currently taking place at Cline Jewelers and goes until Gina’s departure this Friday, August 2nd. Feel free to donate as few or as many books as you wish, as every book donated will make a difference to a child at the Mwatate Centre.
At Cline, we are all excited to see Gina off for her journey through East Africa. If you would like to follow her as well, keep up to date with the Cline blog and follow us on social media for more on her adventure.