By BRENNA GRITEMAN
CAREY — When one of his classmates lost her home and all her belongings to a fire over Easter weekend, 7-year-old Bentley Andersen took the only rational action he could come up with: Sell $1,200 worth of colorful, stretchy bracelets.
“I got the idea because one of my friends on the bus, their house burned down, so I decided to sell bracelets,” Bentley said.
The Carey Elementary first-grader said he was sad to hear about his friend Elise Fredritz and her little brother Cooper (“He’s a preschooler. He also rides my bus.”) losing their home, so he thought about what he could do to help. Bentley talked to his mom, and they decided to check Amazon.
“And then we got this kit so we could make bracelets for everyone, so we could get money for them,” Bentley explained.
Bentley and his parents, Shannon and Andrew, set a fundraising goal of $400. Once the bracelets started selling, they bumped the goal to $500.
By the time his bracelet-selling days were over, Bentley had made $1,245 for his friends. Mom and Dad helped by chipping in a $50 Kohl’s gift card for both Elise and Cooper so the kids could buy some new clothes.
Bentley said he sold most of the bracelets to his teachers, naming off about 10 of the happy customers.
“My friends helped me carry all the stuff around to all the people, like the money that I got and the bracelets,” he said.
Shannon made a few sales via Facebook, too.
The bracelets were sold by donation, “so people could just give us whatever they wanted,” Bentley said. Some customers payed $20 apiece, while others offered $40 for four.
Bentley demonstrated his speed at using a plastic loom to turn tiny, neon-colored rubber bands into fashionable bracelets, churning out a pink-and-purple creation in well under five minutes. His little brother, 4-year-old Lincoln, said he learned the skill also, showing off four bright bracelets lining his wrist.
“I’m telling you, for two weeks these kids lived bracelets,” Shannon said.
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