Cindy and Herb Blake have a long history of caring for children in need. Now they’ll be able to do even more, with the help of sales generated at her new shop, Just for Fun Jewelry, on Main Street in Freeport, next to Wicked Whoopies.

The Blakes recently moved from Gorham to Gray so she could be nearer to the shop, which opened on Aug. 28. Just for Fun Jewelry offers jewelry that Cindy Blake has made herself, from stone, glass and clay beads. The shop also has local photographs on canvas, purses, scarves and costume jewelry.

Blake and her husband, who is an Assemblies of God pastor, are sending money to orphanages in Honduras, India, Africa and Romania. The couple’s humanitarian outreach doesn’t stop there, as he runs The Friendship House, a residential home with 15 beds in South Portland for men recovering from alcohol and drug addiction.

Blake said she will donate at least 10 percent of sales at Just for Fun Jewelry to the orphanages.

“This is a side business for me,” she said. “I do medical billing for doctors. I opened this jewelry business to fund orphanages and mission trips to orphanages around the world.”

Blake said she has had a passion for children’s welfare since she was a teenager. At 17, she babysat foster care children. She did therapeutic foster care for the state from 1999-2007, some of that time while working at Unum. Blake began her own medical billing business in 2010.

All along, she has had a passion for jewelry, as well.

“I love jewelry,” Blake said. “I have a major jewelry fettish. I said, ‘You know what, I’m going to share this.’”

Blake said that she has not visited any of the orphanages that she and her husband help support, but he has visited once in Honduras and twice in northern India.

“Some of the mission trips are pretty far out in the mountain villages where most people don’t go,” she said. “We will hopefully, through this business, be able to make it to all of them at some point.”

In Honduras, the people who run Hope House are doing a great job, Herb Blake said.

“All the kids who go there have no family,” he said. “They were able to put on a new roof there recently with money that’s been donated. Food is also a need, but they’ve made major gains.”

The orphanages in northern India are more primitive, Herb Blake said.

He said that helping children has become integral to their lives now.

“It becomes your purpose,” he said. “You realize you have way more than you need. It just gives you a sense of fulfillment and purpose.”

Cindy Blake said she will keep Just for Fun Jewelry open from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10-6 Friday and Saturday and 11-4 Sunday. She will expand the hours for the holiday shopping season.

Cindy Blake has opened Just for Fun Jewelry, at 32 Main St. in Freeport, next to Wicked Whoopies. The store sells a variety of jewelry and scarves. Staff photo by Larry Grard

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