“I believe that the diamond industry benefits so much from the African Continent where these natural wonders occur, it seems only fitting that we return the favor”, says Larry Sanders, President of Sanders Diamond Jewelers (SDJ) in Pasadena Maryland.
Larry and his wife first visited the continent in 2001 when one of their suppliers invited them to South Africa. They fell in love with the people and saw the genuine need of the rural community who often walk 3-5 kilometers a day, just for clean water.
They quickly formed an alliance with both Rotary International and the African Foundation, both of whom are widely known for the great work they do around the world. The monies raised go directly to the projects they serve ensuring they are completed on time. SDJ is a member of the American Gem Society (AGS) where many members are Rotarian’s who follow the motto “Service above Self”. SDJ is proud to join both Rotary International and the Africa Foundation in providing water, education, and sanitation to school children in Rural areas of Southern Africa.
Sanders Diamond Jewelers (SDJ) started in 1955, when Larry’s Grandfather was in manufacturing in the Seibold building, in Miami. Later, the company opened a retail store in Maryland, and have been selling beautiful diamonds and fine jewelry ever since from their 3500 square foot location. Being members of AGS, SDJ is proud to have three Registered Jewelers, including Larry, his son Michael, and as of February 27, 2020, daughter, Danielle.
As a member of the Lake Shore-Severna Park Rotary Club for more than 26 years, and President twice, Larry and SDJ have worked tirelessly to improve education and wiping out hunger in school-aged children. They work extensively with Africa Foundation and Rotary Clubs in Southern Africa to build preschools, bore holes, playgrounds, and self-composting waterless toilets (called Enviro Loos) to children in rural communities.
In 2019, they provided windows for a medical clinic in Kenya, Enviro Loos for a high school in South Africa, a play set, and schoolhouse for a Creche (pre-school), in rural South Africa. For 2020, they are working with The Hoedspruit Rotary Club to build new Enviro Loos at a Creche they are rebuilding in Hoedspruit, South Africa.
As with so many around the world having to put plans on pause during the Covid-19 outbreak, Larry and his wife had to cut their South Africa trip short this year. While there, they were able to supply a BiPap machine to a young 7-year-old boy that had Muscular Dystrophy. This was also in conjunction with the Hoedspruit Rotary Club. The couple also set the location for the Enviro Loos at the preschool that the Rotary Club is rebuilding. While their Maryland store is closed due to the virus, their online store remains open.