Boy sells bracelets so no one is left out

Money to be used for children to play sports

GIRARD — Maddox Collins, 6, is obsessed with sports and is selling bracelets so more kids can share in the fun.

On Christmas Day, Maddox saw the American Family Insurance commercial with former New York Yankee Derek Jeter helping a little girl make bracelets to help feed the hungry and thought that was a great idea. He wanted to do the same.

“He wanted to make bracelets for the school food pantry, but we got to talking and decided to raise the money for kids who want to play sports but can’t afford to play,” said Maddox’s mother, Carla Collins. “It started small. He sold to us, his neighbors and cousins and probably got about $100. Now he’s raised over $1,500.”

Maddox’s father, Jason, added that he’s been selling the bracelets at basketball games and people can donate money on the social media page called Beads to Play Baseball.

Carla taught Maddox about how a seed starts really small and gets bigger as it grows — and his effort has grown.

“He thought, ‘Well, maybe we’ll raise enough money for one kid to play baseball,’ but that seed got bigger and bigger,” Therese Meechan, Collins’ kindergarten teacher, said. “I’ve never had a student who has taken it upon himself to do something like this. I never met a kid with such drive.”

“Anyone who knows him knows that he is a compassionate little guy … and it really shows in the classroom and on the baseball field and basketball court. I just think he’s an extraordinary little guy. He’s going to do extraordinary things. He’s doing them now,” Meechan added.

Maddox said he is having a lot of fun making and selling the bracelets.

“My mom and dad, my sister and my friends help me. My favorite teams to make are the Seahawks and Ohio State. There’s Indians, Hubbard, Lakeview, ‘Frozen’ for girls, necklaces and keychains,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Maddox even recruited his kindergarten class to help him make bracelets. His classmates are filling orders from other school districts as well.

“It’s really been good for our class because the kids have really learned a lot from this and it’s a lesson that you can’t really teach out of a textbook. The kids have been super involved and we are really excited for him,” Meechan said.

From the money that is raised, the Girard administration is planning to create a scholarship form for students who want to participate in sports, but can’t necessarily afford it. The administration will choose the students and whatever money is left over will go to the school food pantry.