Day 31 – Tarnished Necklace

January 9, 2015

(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year where I write and illustrate a blog on each day's gift.)

Today I wore a gift that I received on Christmas day. That day when I opened my present, I found a silver necklace chain with an old tarnished, flawed key. The word LOVE was stamped on one side. My Christmas present was obviously not quality jewelry from Zales. The key was not a piece of fancy jewelry but appeared to be just the sort that someone would throw away after forgetting whatever it used to unlock. I have a few keys like this around the house that I am reluctant to toss out just in case I find something that fits one of them.

The small tie-string cloth bag that my necklace came in identified it as a “giving key.” My daughter Lauren, who had given this to me, explained that this gift was connected to the homeless and that I should Google “the giving keys” to read more about its significance. I did.

The idea behind it was to re-purpose old discarded keys with inspirational words. There are two parts to this idea. The first is that the money used to purchase these keys goes toward providing jobs for the homeless who make the jewelry. The second part is to pay it forward. If—no, when—I find someone who needs the message on my key, I should give it away to that person.

What a great idea and much nicer than an expensive piece from Zales. The purchase of this key necklace helps some homeless people I have never met, people who society often discards just like old keys that no longer have a purpose, and this necklace will eventually help an individual I will meet on a personal level. These keys no longer unlock what they were intended to, but now they unlock in new ways. I wear this imperfect key with a perfect message, and keep in mind its possibilities.

Today’s gift is a giving key.

Read more about the giving keys here:

You can read my other posts on this project here: 


  1. Wonderful idea and message, Bonnie! I am enjoying your journal and your journey. Wishing you many blessings, Sandy

  2. Thank you, Sandy. Wishing you many blessings too.


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