TURBOTVILLE After hearing about December's tragedy in Newtown, Conn., one local student took action to not only show support for the victims' families but to make a difference.
Sarah Grow, a junior at Warrior Run High School, has been selling rubber bracelets with the message "CONNect to cut out violence" for about a month. All proceeds from the $1 wristbands will be donated to International Mental Health Research Organization.
Grow, who said she's known for "corny" sayings, used the phrase because, "if you say it quick CONNect to cut sounds like Connecticut."
Sarah Grow, Warrior Run High School junior, displays the bracelets that she is selling to show support for the families of the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. The sales of the bracelets will be donated to International Mental Health Research Organization.
Watching as updated news came out of Connecticut during the days following the shooting that took the lives of students and teachers, Grow said she got the idea and a few days later was discussing it with her teachers. With the help of her teachers, Grow ordered 1,000 green and white bracelets with her phrase on it.
She added that both teachers and her peers were supportive of her endeavor.
"They thought it was a great idea," she said.
But wearing the bracelets is not the only way those participating in the project are supporting the families of the tragedy. Upon purchasing a bracelet, the individual is asked to sign a form showing support.
"We're going to send it up to Sandy Hook to let them know they haven't been forgotten," Grow explained of the list.
And although Grow says the nation must move past the tragedy, she added that it also must remember it as to grow and not allow it to happen again. She said she has learned from it and has a new perspective on life.
"It really opened my eyes," she said. "It opened my eyes that you can't take any day for granted and have to make every moment count."
The project is starting conversations, Grow said, about mental illness. She said when asked to purchase a bracelet, individuals usually ask what it's benefiting. Once Grow tells them about IMHRO, they immediately want to learn more.
"I think it's important for us as people to relate to keep it as a reminder," Grow said.
And although she already has sold 900 bracelets raising about $700 after ordering costs Grow is hoping to hit her goal of $1,000. And she's calling on neighboring communities to help.
"I would love to see it spread," she said.
Grow has sent letters to other area school districts in the hopes that they would participate in her project. She said she hopes to have to order another batch of the bracelets.
"We are all connected together as a local community," Grow said of having other school districts get involved.
But either way, the project has been a success.
"The fact that it was a success makes it feel like all my efforts were worth it," she said.
And she said it's not just the money, but the support that makes it a success.
"I would wish that it would give (the victims' families) hope," Grow concluded.
For more information or to buy a bracelet, email firstname.lastname@example.org.