Much like how Valentine’s Day has been co-opted by the candy heart industry, taking focus away from the generally intended meaning of the day, turkey is often the focus of Thanksgiving. And while I love tryptophan enough to consider just drinking it straight, it’s not really the point of it all. Jeez, it’s right there in the name: Thanksgiving.

Not everyone is as poultry-minded as me, though, and a great deal of hard-working folks out there go out of their way every year to help those in need. This year, in the tragic wake of destruction that Hurricane Sandy left behind, the good people of CERF+ (the Craft Emergency Relief Fund and Artist’s Emergency Resources), with a helping hand from the National Coalition for Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response, have been making great strides in helping artists, arts organizations, and other affected creatives whose areas have been decimated and whose livelihoods have been impacted. Perhaps you are one of them.


Image courtesy of CERF+ Studio Protector

For those of you interested in learning what CERF+ is doing—and what you might be able to do—to help or receive assistance, here are a few links:

Artists’ Relief Exchange: This online tool connects artists’ needs with offers of free assistance. If you have been affected by Hurricane Sandy and need things for your recovery, or if you have not been affected but have something to offer, please post them here!

Craft Emergency Relief Fund’s Facebook page: CERF+ is asking everyone to utilize their Facebook page to post information about themselves, other artists, resources, and offers of assistance.

Emergency Response page: This quick reference guide to CERF+ resources and other more regional and local resources contains useful information for artists who are coping with emergencies.

CERF+ Donation Center: Your contribution helps CERF+ provide the immediate assistance craft artists need to get back on their feet and back to work after a career-threatening crisis. Your contribution also helps provide the resources and information that all artists need to help them avoid and/or lessen the impacts of emergencies.

Emergency Relief: CERF+ emergency relief assistance includes grants, no-interest loans, access to resources, waivers and discounts on booth fees, and donations of craft supplies and equipment for professional craft artists dealing with career-threatening emergencies due to illness, accident, fire, natural disaster, or other unexpected events.

Here at Rio, we also have some ways to help. Those of you familiar with our scrap buying program know that we aren’t able to accept bench sweeps for payouts, but if you collect your precious metal sweeps and send them in to us, we will donate their payout to CERF+ to help benefit other jewelers and artists in dire financial need. Get in touch with us for more information on how to participate.

This Thanksgiving, we’re grateful for our families, our health, our safety, our industry, our coworkers, and all of you reading this—everyone who takes time in their life to create beautiful things. We love you all!