Chicago Woman Raises $22,000 for Youngsters’s Hospital With Friendship Bracelets

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Chicago Girl Raises $22,000 for Children’s Hospital With Friendship Bracelets

As the news of their fundraiser spread, support grew locally and beyond. Both sets of Hayley's grandparents matched the first $ 1,500 she raised. She got a big boost from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who bought bracelets in the colors of the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bears, and the Chicago Flag. Ms. Lightfoot also shared Hayley's story on social media using the hashtag #ChicagoGoodWorks.

"The mayor has really started to push this into full swing," said Ms. Orlinsky.

Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker also bought three Chicago-themed bracelets, according to Ms. Orlinsky. The Chicago White Sox recognized Hayley by naming her as one of the heroes of the team beyond the diamond. Orders have been received as far as Hawaii and Italy.

Hayley, who is in the second grade and likes to dance and do acrobatics, makes most of the bracelets herself and repeatedly puts small, colorful rubber bands over her thumb and forefinger. She had help from her family, including her younger sister Ellie, who sorts the colors, and friends from her summer camp who tuned in to help her carry out her orders.

It takes Hayley about two minutes to make each bracelet, she said. She works on her bed as she listens to Taylor Swift and Kelly Clarkson and asks Alexa to share her knock-knock jokes.

She sells the bracelets for $ 3 each or $ 5 a pair and has created variations on the theme of holidays, including Hanukkah and Christmas.

"She always had the opportunity to sell people," said her mother with a laugh.

The money from the bracelets was donated to the hospital's Covid-19 Relief Fund, which provides personal protective equipment such as masks and goggles for staff and family members of patients, according to Tracey McCusker, deputy community leader at the hospital.

"Hayley was such an inspiration to all of us at Lurie Children's Hospital," Ms. McCusker said on Wednesday. "She was definitely a shining light from this pandemic and we cannot thank her enough."

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