When Jonah Hoppenheim visited our office last week he was smiling from ear to ear. And with good reason. This community-minded 13-year-old was here to deliver a cheque for $4,050, every penny of which he raised himself by selling stylish bracelets made by hand out of recycled soda can tabs.
It all started at last summer, when his little brother Jake came home from camp and made a nifty looking bracelet for Jonah out of soda tabs. It was unisex, environmentally responsible – and pretty darned cool looking.
Jonah got so many compliments on his funky new bracelet, that he thought there might be a business opportunity there. Giving back has always been important for him and his family, and he saw this as an amazing chance to raise funds, and make a difference for kids at The Children’s. He got his family to help make a few prototypes, and before he knew it, the orders were rolling in.
With encouragement from his teacher Dan Elbling at Centennial Academy and lots of support from his family, he soon had the entire community mobilized for the project. So far over 400 bracelets have been sold at $10 each, and in addition to sporting a charitable fashion statement on their wrists, Jonah’s friends, family and classmates are helping out by stockpiling tabs. There are collection jars all around the school – and Jonah’s mom Sharyn says bags of tabs are quickly taking over their garage. “It’s been a real family project,” she asserts. “We sit as a family at the supper table, and instead of eating, we’re making tab bracelets.”
And Jonah’s fame is spreading. On an airplane a few months ago, he got the flight attendants in on the project – they helped collect tabs, and bought bracelets, too! Next year, he’s planning to expand the fundraiser beyond Centennial into other secondary and primary schools. For now, he’s continuing to fill orders throughout the summer… Starting with the staff at the Foundation who couldn’t get their wallets out fast enough to buy bracelets of their own. Our office was a far more fashionable place when Jonah left than it was before he arrived!
With the funds he’s raised so far, Jonah has bought several items from The Children’s list of urgent needs, including a video camera and microphone for speech and language therapy, five digital thermometers, a finger sensor to measure blood oxygen levels and a drill for the trauma crash cart.
This new equipment will make a very real difference in the lives of hundreds of kids at The Children’s. On behalf of everyone at the Foundation and the Hospital, thank you Jonah for putting together an amazing project to help sick kids.
If you would like to buy a bracelet of your own, contact Sharyn Hoppenheim at firstname.lastname@example.org.