Three Grade 7 students from Osoyoos Elementary School, (from left) Jiya Deol, Tessa Fonteyne and Kaityn Hillson made and sold kindness bracelets at their school. The girls donated the funds raised to the Hope Foundation School in Malawi, Africa. (Vanessa Broadbent photo)
By Vanessa Broadbent
If you walk through Osoyoos Elementary School, you’ll notice that many of the students are wearing colourful rubber band bracelets.
They’re called kindness bracelets and three Grade 7 students made and sold them to raise funds for the Hope Foundation School in Malawi, Africa.
Kaitlyn Hillson, Jiya Deol and Tessa Fonteyne made 370 bracelets leading up to the school’s 21 Days of Kindness in January and February, and sold them to their peers, bringing in $321.60.
Prices ranged from 50 cents to three dollars, depending on how intricate the bracelet was and how long it took to make.
“The thick ones take a while but the simple chain ones take maybe a couple minutes,” Kaitlyn said.
The girls were carrying on a tradition started on by students before them.
“A lot of older Grade 7’s would do this and when we were really young we saw this happening,” Kaitlyn said.
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However, the idea to give the funds to the school in Malawi was new this year.
The suggestion came from kindergarten teacher Rebecca Bayda, who sent donations to the Hope Foundation School in December.
“It’s one of the poorest countries in Africa,” Jiya said.
Along with help from students in their grade, the girls worked on the bracelets during their recess and lunch, as well as after school.
The goal was to sell the bracelets during the school’s 21 Days of Kindness, ending with a kindness luncheon on Feb. 7.
But by the time the luncheon came around the bracelets were completely sold out.
“By three days they were all gone,” Tessa said.
Along with helping out students in Malawi, Jiya said she’s noticed the bracelets spread kindness in her own school as well.
“It’s nice to see everyone smile and compliment people on each other’s bracelets,” she said.