Mayor of Hartford & Allie

This summer I have had a thrilling internship with Jewelry for a Cause in the NYC area.  The company began in 2008 with the singular purpose of helping a wide variety of not for profits use jewelry as innovative fund raising tools.  It is truly Jewelry that sparkles with good intentions™.  In addition to their custom wholesale work, they have 3 meaningful retail lines; Talismans, In Gratitude Beads and The Caliber Collection™.  The Caliber Collection is the most high profile of these lines.  The jewelry is made with the serial numbers and metal from shell casings from the different police departments they partner with.  A portion of the proceeds goes back to the cities to fund gun buyback and amnesty programs as well as other needed public safety programs. All of their jewelry has been embraced by A list celebrities such as Donna Karan, Maria Shriver, Demi Lovato, Iggy Azalea, Amanda Seyfried, Chris Gorham, Akon, etc.  I did know all of this before I made the trip from Michigan in May…what I didn’t know was a massive problem illegal guns are in America and what a massive role they play in escalating so many other problems in society…specifically domestic violence.

For years I only equated domestic violence with emotional, psychological, financial abuse, physical assault (hitting, pushing, shoving, etc.), sexual abuse (unwanted or forced sexual activity), and stalking. However, I now know what a serious role illegal guns play in domestic violence. Statistics from Mayors Against Illegal Guns found that there are 46 American woman shot to death each month by a current or former intimate partner. And the chances of a woman being killed in a domestic violence situation rises 500% where a gun is present.

Just like domestic violence, anyone can be a victim of illegal gun violence. Victims of domestic violence or illegal gun violence can be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment, or martial status. Not only does domestic violence affect those who are abused, but witnesses, family members, co-workers, friends and the community at large are also negatively impacted. Children raised in these environments are shown that violence is a normal way of life and this places them at higher risk of becoming society’s next generation of victims and abusers.

US Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, stated, “Gun violence is not something we have to accept, it is something we can do something about and our strategies can reap tremendous results.” He collaborated with the founder, Jessica Mindich, to create the The Caliber Collection)

Our goal at Alpha Chi Omega is to break the cycle of violence in society. We do this with our philanthropy events and other efforts to wear awareness and help victims of domestic violence. Jewelry for a Cause partners with municipalities to fund local gun buyback programs with proceeds from the Caliber Collection, a series of bracelets and cufflinks engraved with the serial numbers from illegal guns and the brass from shell casings swept from crime scenes. Within the past 8 years this company is responsible for creating over $450,000 philanthropic dollars for a variety of worthy causes using jewelry as a fundraising tool. Another astounding statistic is that they have been able to fund gun buybacks that have resulted in 395 illegal guns existing on the streets of the 6th most dangerous city in the U.S. I am so proud to be a part of this effort and excited to bring back all that I have learned to Alpha Chi Omega and my future.

For more information on Jewelry for a Cause http://www.jewelryforacause.net


Outlaw Spoons?



A Girl is a Gun.

The Style Con’s Giselle Defares highlights the “power” of fashion.



The Caliber Collection is in US Weekly!




LGBT Jewelry


The Caliber Collection was featured in LGBT Jewelry, recognizing our efforts to take illegal guns off the streets of America. LGBT Jewelry started primarily as a way to give back to the LGBT community and to raise funds for the cause of marriage equality. The LGBT Jewelry blog isn’t just based on jewelry for the LGBT community, but keeps followers updated on pop culture and gives advice to them. LGBT Jewelry donates 10% of all proceeds to the promotion of LGBT marriage rights

To read more of the article go to: www.lgbtjewelry.com/tag/caliber




Kristin Meekhof picks us as one of her Top 8!

Kristin Meekhof picks the Jewelry for a Cause blog as one of her TOP 8 favorite blogs along with Second Firsts, a blog reaching out to women who are on the widow journey; Footsteps, a single mother to adult children, giving practical advice on parenting, writing, organizing finances and being a grandparent. Women Run is a single mom’s blog who runs her own business, her children to events, a households and races. Cup of Jo is a blog about travel, design, food, relationship, fashion & beauty.  As well as blog about a family’s current journey adopting a daughter from China; This is Me Being Real. Along with Anne LaMott, a best-selling author who’s blog is about her struggles with anxiety and self-doubt, and Dr. Mark Hyman who writes for the Huffington Post about healthy living. What a line-up of amazing blogs, we are privileged to be featured with them!

To connect to these blogs go to:




Hartford, CT Press Release



Campaign Launches With Unveiling of 60 Foot High Sculpture by Artist Michael Kalish


(May 7, 2014) The City of Hartford has been selected as the kick off site for “Raise The Caliber” a national advocacy campaign to end illegal gun violence. Central to the campaign will be the unveiling of a public art piece by internationally renowned artist Michael Kalish. The work, a 60-foot high sculpture created from 2,000lbs of shredded illegal guns bought off the streets through voluntary gun buybacks, will be unveiled in Hartford in July and stay for nine months.

“In cities across the country, gun violence is impacting too many families, and cutting too many lives short. We’re doing everything possible to combat that in Hartford and we welcome anyone willing to stand alongside us to help raise awareness of this issue that affects everyone in our community,” said Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.

“This monument is truly the most powerful piece I have ever created and I am really honored to hear about Hartford’s enthusiasm for it,” said artist Michael Kalish.

Raise The Caliber was founded by CEO of Jewelry for a Cause NYC, Jessica

Continue reading


Raise The Caliber™ by Michael Kalish

Below is a picture of the internationally renown artist, Michael Kalish, kneeling on top of approximately 2000 lbs of shredded illegal guns I proudly bought off the streets by funding voluntary Gun Buyback and Amnesty Programs with proceeds from one of my retail jewelry lines called, The Caliber Collection™.  This picture was taken the day the gun shreds arrived at his studio in L.A. and he emptied the barrels of pieces onto his floor.  His reaction is haunting.  He was so innocent before this moment.  I remember when I felt like that.    

Michael is using them to fabricate Raise The Caliber™, a 30′ high Monument that will be unveiled this summer, for the first time in Hartford, CT.  The Sculpture is powerful, strong, hopeful and inspiring. It is dedicated to the victims of illegal gun violence in America.  It is our hope that the learning and healing that can be achieved using this monument as a catalyst will be incorporated into conversations among family members in homes, within communities and in the school curriculum in various ways.  

The pieces that make up Raise The Caliber™ by Michael Kalish are pieces of illegal guns, Destroyed.  Never To Destroy Again.




Charles Grady

Charles Grady

Advisor of Raise The Caliber™

C.Grady Headshot


Charlie Grady hails from an esteemed law enforcement background*. He is a highly decorated retired Police Detective and FBI Task Force Agent. Grady’s 27 year career in law enforcement focused on violent crime, homicide, drugs, guns, and gang investigations on a Nationwide scope. Grady was the first Senior Investigator appointed by The United States Attorney of the District of CT, specializing in gun violence and illegal trafficking of firearms and narcotics. Continue reading


Amy Smilovic

Tibi, Founder and Designer

Partner, Raise The Caliber™

Amy 3 low res copy

Tibi designer and founder, Amy Smilovic, began her career in the fashion industry shortly after moving to Hong Kong in 1997.  Following a successful marketing position at American Express in New York City, Amy relocated to Asia with her husband and began designing a small collection of contemporary dresses. Continue reading