Brightening the lives of women fighting breast cancer

Background Information

Ever since Abby Samet was a little girl, she has filled her wrists with bracelets. Whether made out of string, purchased at a store, or given to her as a gift, each bracelet that Abby wears signifies a meaningful memory. She always looks down at her wrists to be reminded of the happiness and excitement in her life when she acquired a new bracelet. Abby wanted to figure out a way to make others feel this type of happiness when thinking of a CLP. Because of the catchy title, attainability, and sentimentality of the project, BraveryBeads came to fruition. Abby has seen many women in her family suffer from breast cancer, and wanted to find a way to honor their strength, so she decided to make bracelets and write encouraging messages for recently diagnosed women in her community.

Implementation of Project

When Abby was getting her project rolling back at home, she struggled to find a beneficiary. After lots of online searches, emails, and phone calls, Abby’s mother showed her the Alight Foundation- an organization that helps ease women upon their breast cancer diagnosis by providing them with the necessary resources during chemo, treatment, and radiation. After speaking to one of the directors extensively to map out a plan for the project, Abby began working on the other aspects the project: volunteers and supplies. She presented her idea to the upper school, and formed her action team. Next, she ordered beads online and went to Michael’s to purchase ribbon, stationary, and things to package the bracelets in. She was surprised by how smooth things were running, and the only challenge was coordinating a date for action day because of her hectic schedule.

Results of Project

Abby had a very specific vision in mind for the final product of the BraveryBeads. But, seeing the creativity and ideas of her peers when making the bracelets and cards showed her the importance of collaborative work. She knows that if she was working independently on this project, the results would have been different, and less unique. With an action team of about fifteen volunteers, Abby was able to make 100 bags in just two hours for Alight. Everyone divided up into 3 stations: bracelet-making, card-writing, and packaging. When she went to deliver the beads, the hospital workers were taken back at how amazing everything looked. Abby was so proud during the action day, but knew her project had been a success when she got to the hospital and saw their reactions.

What’s Next

Abby hopes to further BraveryBeads involvement with Alight for the next school year by building relationships with the patients.  To stay on top of making the bracelets, Abby is going implement a club at her school in which she plans to meet once every month during lunch. She hopes to get input from her peers on how to do something big for breast cancer during October, as it is breast cancer awareness month.  This project has overall pushed Abby to be a more active member in her community, and given her the reassurance that she can be a confident and capable leader.  She cannot wait to see what else BraveryBeads will do in the future.