Perhaps you've been following 'Brothers On The Run,' the video project of bro-pro snowboarders John and Eric Jackson, documenting their drive from Alaska to Chile, shredding and playing music along the way. Perhaps you'd rather eat your own head than spend six months in an RV with your sibling... Either way, this mega-trip is about more than shredding and slapping high fives. The Jacksons have now teamed up with crack jewelers in an attempt to bring good to the places they visit -- rather than to just "bring rad" to the rest of us:
"We're traveling through places where some peoples' living situations are so gnarly, it's been crazy to see," says John. "There's a lot of little things we wanted to do along the way -- like feeding people who work and live at the dumps, or giving out shoes, or doing volunteer work at the orphanages -- but we also wanted to do something bigger. We came up with an idea to integrate Jax Union by making a necklace and raising money throughout the trip for an orphanage in Nicaragua."
Brothers for Hope is a non-profit division of Jax Union, their jewelry fellowship making everything from iced-out rings to gold pick-axe necklaces. "Unique" is an understatement...
The Jacksons will be stopping at Casa Betesda, in Managua, Nicaragua, on their way through Central America to actually hang out with the orphans set to benefit from this coin pendant's sales. As one of the top-rated orphanages in a very poor country, Casa Betesda helps some of the highest risk kids, including those nabbed by government officials at border crossings, saving kids from entering sex trafficking rings, black market organ schemes and other, unthinkable horrors. The goal is to raise enough money to help Casa Betesda build a new compound for older kids; they are being squeezed out as more and more little kids come in.
A lot of the situations people live in are very low, like living and working at the dump, or selling your body to prostitution. We wanted to make a statement that, regardless of your situation -- without exception -- you are beauty.” -- John Jackson
DOPE ON A ROPE: The Brothers for Hope Pendant is a hand-crafted, solid sterling silver pendant, drawn by the inimitable John Jackson and brought to life by the designer in LA. The coin depicts their journey through the Americas (yep, North, Central and South in one go!) and they're putting all proceeds toward the orphanage.
"Overall, the piece is incredible," explains John J. "The pendant alone is 10 grams of solid sterling silver along with a beautiful necklace. The craftsmanship is very high quality. We're really proud of how it came out, and we can't wait for others to enjoy it. Plus, we are very excited to support Casa Betesda."
The Men's version comes on a 24-inch sterling silver chain and the Women's is on an 18-incher. Look good. Feel good. Do good.
"It has a picture of the Americas on it, from Alaska to South America, with all kinds of secret, cool things within," explains John. "Over the Pacific is a compass with our logo in the middle and underneath it says, 'The Journey Is The Treasure.' On the back, there are hands giving out water, and, like a reflection in the ripples, it says, 'You Are Beauty.'
"A lot of the situations people live in are very low, like living and working at the dump, or selling your body to prostitution. We wanted to make a statement that, regardless of your situation -- without exception -- you are beauty. And the choice can be yours to do what you want..."
ALL IN THE FAMILY: John and Eric knew they didn't want this epic journey to be "all about them" and it was big sister Nicole, 30, who connected them with the orphanage: "I've got a lot of friends who are in the philanthropy lifestyle, so when [my brothers] asked me to help be a part of this, Nicaragua was top on the list. The only poorer country in the western hemisphere is Haiti," she said.
Nicole now lives in Switzerland and works with Nicolas Müller and Fredi Kalbermatten on Atreebutes street-wear. Her last name will be Kalbermatten soon, too, if you know what we're saying...
"Casa Betesda does such an amazing job at offering hope to these kids, we all three got jazzed together about partnering with them," said Ms. Jackson. "I think John and Eric's vision, to do something beyond snowboarding, to use their own hands to help marginalized people in the world, is so beautiful. I was able to go with them to LA to pick up the first sample of the pendant and it was quite emotional. Both my brothers see such gold in people, I'm amazed and proud to watch them make this happen."
Buy your own silver piece of awesome here for $199.99. Remember: 100-percent of the proceeds go to Casa Betesda.