OTTUMWA — Five fourth-graders didn't need grownups to show them it feels good to help others. They found out firsthand.
"I wanted to do a project with the bracelets I make. And it's better to help people than to just do a random project," Kennedy Hugen said at Eisenhower Elementary School on Wednesday. "Cancer popped into my head; my cousin's friend has cancer. They're in first grade."
Maybe she could make something and donate it to young cancer patients.
"I texted Elaine and she said since bracelets are the new big thing, it's a good idea."
Fellow fourth-grader Elaine Prose first checked with her mom.
"I love to make rubber-band bracelets," Elaine said.
The decorative items are made by weaving together elastic bands to form a pattern. On one, a base of white elastics was topped with red and blue elastics, making a patriotic statement for creative kids.
"I asked what they were doing," said another student, Arin McMullin. "They said they were making bracelets for cancer, and I said, 'Can I be in it?'"
"Me too!" said Rachel Carlson. "I love making bracelets."
And she knows a youngster with cancer. Rachel wanted to participate, too.
Elaine felt they could get help from Principal Dana Warnecke. So the girls got her input. She told them they could certainly work on that project at recess and other non-class periods. She also got them some paper for posters, and suggested that rather than just giving each patient a bracelet, the girls give them away in exchange for a donation. Then, they could buy things for kids in the hospital, things like crayons, personal hygiene items and crafts, including the loom used to make more advanced rubber-band bracelet designs.