While at summer camp, Jackie Flam, a seventh grade student at Franklin Middle School, learned to make rainbow rubber band bracelets with just a hook, small loom and colored rubber bands.
After summer ended and Jackie and her friends went back to school, she continued making these bracelets - this time for a worthy cause.
Jackie is selling her rubber band bracelets, now created with pink rubber bands, to students at Owings Mills High School, where her father Elliot Flam is assistant principal, to support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Renee Kimmel, president of the OMHS PTA, said the bands, selling for $1 each, are selling like hotcakes.
The genesis of Jackie's fundraiser began back at Camp Louise last summer. While attending the camp - and while learning how to make bracelets - Jackie struck up a friendship with Kimmel who was working at the camp over the summer. When the school year began, Kimmel recruited Jackie's talents to make bracelets in brown and gold - Owings Mills High School's colors - to sell as a fundraiser for the PTA.
"For Jackie's birthday, I went and bought her these pink bands, and she started making these bracelets," Kimmel said. "I realized it's going to be October soon, and it would be so cool to see what would happen if we sold these for breast cancer awareness."
Jackie said they've sold 127 bracelets since starting Oct. 1, and her goal is to sell 1,000 by the end of the month. Kimmel said they are going much faster than the PTA bracelets did.
Currently the pink bracelets are only being sold on a display in the Owings Mills High School office, but Elliot said they are planning to expand their outreach to try and reach the $1,000 goal.
"The plan, since we have a TV studio here, is to make the SGA do commercials and have different sports teams wear them and push it that way. We call it Owings Mills High School Bands Together," Elliot said. "We're going to start selling them by the cafeteria, because right now, we have people coming in and saying 'Oh that's cool, where can I get those?' But if you put it in front of them while they're spending money in the cafeteria, they might be more willing to throw a dollar in and get a bracelet."
Jackie said she started working on the bracelets alone, but once they started selling, she had to enlist the aid of her friends and brother to keep the bracelets coming. She said each basic bracelet takes between two and three minutes to make, while the more advanced styles can take up to 10 minutes to complete. She said she works on them wherever and whenever she can including home, school and even in the car.
Jackie takes special orders on the bracelets for the various styles and has started including other colors in addition to pink - the money still all goes to support breast cancer awareness.
On Fridays, based on requests from teachers and staff, she has started a "Purple Friday" exclusive, to create bracelets that celebrate the Ravens as well as breast cancer research. Elliot said last Friday, the purple and pink bracelets had sold out by 8 a.m. in the office.