KINSMAN - Wanting to help cancer patients and others in need, Badger Elementary School students spent time recently making special rubber band bracelets with messages and collecting monetary donations.
The idea for the effort started with sisters Brooke, 10, and Kara, 8, who are in fourth and third grades at Badger Elementary School in Kinsman.
Their mother, Michele Polon, said like a lot of their friends, they love the rainbow loom.
''They make bracelets galore. One day they were experimenting making other items with the loom, and Brooke came out with a breast cancer awareness ribbon made out of the bands. It was at this time that our fundraiser "looming for the locals" was created,'' she said.
More than 30 children spent several hours Friday at Kinsman United Methodist Church marking loom cancer awareness ribbons and bracelets.
Polon said the children received sponsor and donations with money donated to Small Town Neighbors a local charity servicing the Kinsman area to give warm winter coats, hats, boots to those who need it.
''The bracelets and ribbons will be given to the Hope Cancer Center in Howland to encourage those who are fighting with cancer know that they are being thought of and supported,'' Polon said.
Dr. Lori Hemrock from the center attended the event and donated pizza.
Polon said the children wanted to make a difference to help others and made bracelets and ribbons which they had fun doing.
A goal of 200 bracelets was set, and each completed bracelet was placed on a small artificial tree at the church. A small bell was rung by each child once the bracelet was completed.
"This is our way to thank them for doing a good job," Polon said.
Brooke said everyone was writing a special message of encouragement with the bracelet.
Brooke said on one bracelet she wrote the message "Keep Your Head High."
Brooke said she liked making bracelets and one day thought of what she could do with them to help people who have been sick and fighting cancer.
"My mom thought we could hold a charity event,'' she said.
Her sisters Kara said she also liked the idea.
Addison Thompson, 9, said it was fun to be creative when making the bracelets.
Emily Stanhope, 9, said she liked knowing she was helping others through a charity effort and was fun to work as a team.
Kamry Nipple, 10, said she wanted to help others but noted it was first challenging with the rubber bands.
Julianna Miller, 9, said she wanted to do something to help people who needed help
"It was a good idea. We had a lot of fun," she said.