Don’t throw away those Mardi Gras beads: Here’s how to donate them for a good cause

Picture of Mardi Gras beads

GALVESTON, Texas – Galveston is gearing up for its 111th annual Mardi Gras celebration, which will be held Feb. 18 through March 1, 2022. The event is expected to attract more than 350,000 attendees and will offer several different activities, from balcony bashes and live concerts to elegant balls and parades.

Not only is this a special time to let loose and have fun, it will also be a a chance to give back since a portion of all proceeds will benefit some great causes.

Yaga’s Entertainment and Galveston Independent School District have partnered together to launch “Beads for Needs”, a bead recycling program that will give students a chance to become self-sufficient while building a business from the ground up.

This collaboration will include students from the Daren Muren’s Life Skills program, Rob Lewis’ Incubator entrepreneurial program and the Galveston Independent School District Art program.

Incubator business and Life Skills students will be working together, while GISD art program students will be in charge of decorating bead drive containers in festive Mardi Gras fashion. Yaga’s Entertainment will aid in facilitating a second life what would have been discarded beads.

Galveston Independent School District students (Ball High's Life Skills)

The goal is to round up one million beads prior to the 2022 carnival season by having student coordinated bead collection events and while students work alongside local groups.

Once collected, the beads will then be sorted, cleaned and repackaged for sale by the students. The effort will keep beads out of the trash as well as give students the chance to learn how to run a business.

On Nov. 8-12 there will be a Clear Your Closetbead drive for students to bring in old Mardi Gras beads to donate at participating Galveston Independent School District schools. The class that collects the most beads will win a pizza party, and their teacher will receive a gift card to BLVD Seafood. Beerfoot Brewery (2816 Avenue R ½), Float Pool & Beach Bar (2828 Seawall Blvd) and Tsunami Tequila Emporium (2314 Strand St) will host “Free Beer for Beads” community drives on Nov. 19 from 4-7 p.m. Participants will earn one free cold beer in exchange for three pounds of beads.

Partnership opportunities are available:

  • There is a need for containers to be used for bead drop off locations, including at Ball High School and Mardi Gras! Galveston
  • Corporate bead drive events in November 2021

For information about joining this unique collaboration between Ball High School and our business community, please contact Elizabeth Matthews with Yaga’s Entertainment at (409) 770-0999.