By Elsie Walker
Summer Friedman, Alaina Miele, Hannah Mirsky, and Kimberly Griff have been spending their Friday nights together doing something special. It’s not watching video games or movies or going shopping. These seventh graders from Mt. Olive Middle School have been making bracelets for a cause. Team K.A.S.H.(Kimberly, Alaina, Summer, Hannah), as they call themselves, is using holiday-colored red and green fishtail design rainbow loom bracelets to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and for the Lustgarten Foundation (funding Pancreatic cancer research). The team is asking for a suggested donation of $3 per bracelet. The bracelets are being sold through Facebook to family, friends, and neighbors. There are still bracelets available. Those interested in purchasing one or making a donation toward the cause, can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Since my fundraiser for breast cancer [in October] was such a success (she raised just over $400 making pink bracelets), I thought that it would be a great idea to do another fundraiser along with some of my friends so we could make more bracelets and hopefully make more money to put towards important causes. We’ve made over 200 bracelets in hopes of raising at least $600,” shared Summer Friedman.
The cause, fighting cancer, is one close to Friedman and her friend, Mirsky. Both lost grandmothers to pancreatic cancer.
“This past July, I lost my grandma to pancreatic cancer. It was very hard on my family. It is one of the deadliest and most under- diagnosed cancers so we felt it was important to raise awareness and contribute to the fight,” Mirsky said.
While donating half of what’s raised goes to the Lustergarten Foundation, the group has chosen to give the other half of its donations to St. Jude’s, known for its work with pediatric cancers.
“No one should have to go through the pain and suffering caused by cancer, especially kids. If the money we raise helps to ease their pain, even just a little, then that makes me happy. It feels good to help, “ said Mirsky.
Also making them feel good, is the response Team K.A.S.H. has been getting to its fundraising efforts.
“We received the most heartfelt letter and generous donation in the mail from a friend of my mom’s that has a seven year old daughter who fought and kicked leukemia’s butt and is now considered cancer free. That letter really touched our hearts and made us feel so proud of what we are doing, “ said Friedman.
“Everyone that I asked to donate was so impressed that we made all those bracelets. They know how time consuming it is to make one and they couldn’t believe that we made so many. Some people just wanted to donate money and didn’t even want a bracelet because they know that St. Jude Children’s Hospital is such a great hospital and they were so happy to make a donation. People were so impressed that we wanted to do something so great for other children and for such a great cause. One mom said what a great project for my friends and I to do and how great and unselfish we were to spend so much time making the bracelets instead of doing other things. Some people had a connection with St. Jude Children’s Hospital and were planning on making a donation, so they were so happy to donate the money to my friends and I for this project,” shared Griff.
Reflecting on what they’re doing, Miele shared how it felt to help and encouraged other youth to get involved in similar projects:
“I would say that fundraising is fun and with the help and support of family and friends, it’s a good deed that makes you feel good to know you’re helping other people in need. I would recommend to other kids to make fundraising efforts because it will make them feel good about themselves while raising money for a good cause that they believe in. It’s nice knowing you can make a difference in someone’s life.”
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