Bracelets 'CONNect' to cut out violence for granddaughter of Shamokin residents
WATSONTOWN - The granddaughter of two Shamokin area residents has a mission - to prevent another "Sandy Hook tragedy."
Sarah Grow, a junior at Warrior Run High School, a daughter of David and Kim Grow, of Watsontown, and granddaughter of Bruce Manney, of Shamokin, and Mary Jane Grow, of Coal Township, recently began a project to raise awareness about violence and to show people in Newtown, Conn., that they are not forgotten.
Grow, 17, was moved to action after watching the tragic events unfold in Newtown.
"I learned you can't take life for granted," Grow said. "Because I live in a small town like Newtown, it really hit home for me. I wanted to do something.".
On Dec. 14, a lone gunman entered the Sandy Hook Elementary School after killing his mother at home. He opened fire on students and teachers, killing 26 people and then himself.
That weekend, Grow thought about the tragedy and came up with a slogan, "CONNect to cut out violence," the first part "CONNect to cut," sounding like "Connecticut."
"I told my sister this should be on a bracelet to support Sandy Hook, and she said 'yeah, that will never happen,'" Grow said.
But Grow was encouraged by teachers Courtney Kerr and Amy Swartz and high school principal Patti Cross to pursue the project.
"They were a great help to me. From the very beginning, I had their support," Grow said.
Following Christmas vacation, a thousand rubber band braclets - green and white, Sandy Hook's school colors - were delivered to the school. The bracelets contain Grow's slogan.
The bracelets are for sale for $1 apiece. So far, Grow is close to being sold out of the initial allotment of 1,000 and is considering ordering more.
"A company in Lewisburg contacted us and purchased 50 of them at a time for their employees," she said, "Everyone at the school has them, too."
The school initially donated the money to purchase the bracelets. Proceeds from the sale will be donated to the International Mental Health Research Organization. Grow hopes to donate $1,000 to the organization.
"My original thought was to send the proceeds right to the victims and the town, but after researching the mental health organization, I found out they are working hard to prevent such events, and that is what I was thinking about when I created the slogan. It wasn't the gun that caused the tragedy, but the problems inside the person who took those lives," Grow said.
Grow will also send the names of the people who purchased bracelets to Newtown to let people there they will never be forgotten.
Raising the money is nice, but Grow says the real goal is spreading the message.
"I would love to see this go from school to school in the area and then all around the world, because stopping the spread of violence comes from all of us working to find better ways to resolve our differences," she said.
For more information about Sarah Grow's effort or to get a bracelet, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.