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The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

Bracelets strung for the greater good

New club dedicates donations for children
Livi Ralston
Junior Kailey Foushee hands out her club fliers to students during the Curriculum Fair. “I love the fact that I get to interact with so many different people; it is what makes the whole experience so special,” Foushee said

Stringing along hope and positivity for local hospitalized children, Bracelets for Smiles, a new student-run club, creates and donates bracelets for the patients at the Medical University of South Carolina.

President and founder of the club, junior Kailey Foushee, began this group to make a difference in her community all while making it an amusing and productive activity.

“I just wanted to start a club, but I wanted it to actually have a purpose because I know there’s a lot of clubs here that are just for fun. I wanted it to be something that would be fun and people would actually show up to,” Foushee said.

Foushee is in charge of the entire organization, whether its providing the inventory or commuting 30 minutes to the hospital.

“I do mostly everything… I plan meetings, I buy supplies, I just like planning any event we need to go to,” Foushee said.

Foushee shows her dedication as she prepares for meetings as early as 8 a.m. to ensure members have enough time to make bracelets before the school day begins.

“During a meeting, we have beads and bracelet stones sitting out on the table, and people will just come in and get whatever beads they want and whatever string and just make as many [bracelets] as they can in the meetings,” Foushee said.

With an effective system and motivated members, Foushee only needs to hold a couple meetings per month to reach a high number of bracelets to be donated.

“Normally when we drop them off at the hospital after two meetings, it’s anywhere between 50 and 70 depending on if we had a lot of people donate that month,” Foushee said. “At the end of every month, me and my vice president fill in a Ziploc bag of all the ones we made and we go drop them off downtown at MUSC.”

With an abundance of members and bracelets being made during the meetings, Foushee works hand in hand with vice president and junior Gabbi Mortellaro to run the club efficiently.

“I just help Kailey with everything… I make little Instagram things on like Canva or I’ll make logos or flyers and then I’ll send them to her and she’ll print them out and stuff like that,” Mortellaro said.

Club member reaches down to grab a bead continuing to build a bracelet during a weekly meeting. The new club
works to bring joy to children at the MUSC Children’s Hospital. (Kailey Foushee)

Both Foushee and Mortellaro’s passion for donating to a local hospital sparked from their own experiences from previously being treated at MUSC. Combined with their lovefor Taylor Swift, they formulated Bracelets for Smiles.

“In May, I was helped a lot by MUSC [back] in 2021 and then Kailey also has always [been] helped by MUSC… so we were just like, ‘why don’t we just give back?’, and so we thought of how can we partner with Taylor Swift or something and we were like [how about] bracelets? So we were like ‘why don’t we make little friendship bracelets for the kids and then give them to MUSC?’,” Mortellaro said.

By starting this club, Foushee feels accomplished knowing she is a part of a movement that contributes to helping others in need.

“I think it’s good to have that feeling of knowing you’re doing something good for your community and knowing that not everybody will have the same sort of living circumstances you are like [they] could be living in a hospital, it’s nice to know that you’re helping their time,” Foushee said.

Being there from the beginning, Foushee takes pride in the growth of the club and how the number of members impacts the amount of bracelets that can be made.

“I’m definitely most proud of how far we’ve come since we’ve started. When we first started there was barely anybody showing up. There’d be like two people showing up who would make that. But now we have a good 10 to 11 people come to the meetings and we make a good amount,” Foushee said.

Aubrey Moore, the teacher sponsor for Bracelet for Smiles, recognizes the easy-going environment the club has as she supervises.

“They make it fun. They don’t make it a high stress thing. But it’s for a good cause and it’s nice when things are for good cause [and] are actually fun,” Moore said.

Through the hand-made bracelets, the club proves their passion as they are devoted to brightening the lives of others.

“It’s just to spread joy and give little smiles to kids and help them with whatever they’re going through,” Mortellaro

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