How I got started…
I began making bracelets in 2004, when I was 6 years old as a hobby and for fun. I gave many as gifts and somebody suggested that I start selling them. So, in 2006, I quickly turned my little business into a way to raise and donate the money to the different organizations, helping my brother, Derek.
How I choose the charities that I donate to, and what they use the money for…
Clelian Heights School: Derek attended Clelian Heights School (graduated in 2017), and they use the money for class field trips, therapeutic and sensory equipment, and toys and games for the classrooms.
5p- Society: He has 5p- Syndrome (Cri du Chat), and their money goes towards the annual conference, in which families get together to learn more about the syndrome, get ideas, and more importantly “compare notes” with others sharing the same experiences.
ASA-WCC (Autism Society of America-Westmoreland County Chapter): Derek has PDD (a form of autism). The ASA-WCC (Autism Society of America-Westmoreland Co. Chapter) uses the money to provide fun activities for their members such as skating parties, bowling, etc.
Make-A-Wish Foundation: In 2007, Derek got to go on a Make-A-Wish trip to Discovery Cove to swim with the dolphins. Make-A-Wish uses the donations to grant wishes to children with life-threatening disabilities.
Why I do it…
I make no profit from my bracelet sales, I do it to benefit my brother and all the people helped through the organizations that I donate to. I do not do this for myself, or the recognition that I receive. I am doing this because it makes me feel good, knowing that I have helped many people with special needs. I feel very fortunate to be able to go all the places that I go and do all the things that I do, and my donations help many others be able to do some of the same things.
To date, I have donated over $55,000 to these charities along with many others including but not limited to PAL’s Play Ball Adaptive Baseball League, the Reflections of Grace Foundation, Andrew's Avengers, and Carsons Hope. I also worked on a fundraiser for the American Heart Association with my good friend Lance Frye where I sold my jewelry to raise funds for Heart Week in February 2015.
I am currently a junior at Penn State Greater Allegheny with the major of business management and marketing. On campus, I serve as the Vice President for Student Government Association, am a Lion Ambassador, and Chair for PSUGA Benefitting THON. The goal of THON is to provide emotional and financial support for the Four Diamonds Fund families who are affected by pediatric cancer. In 2018 I was selected to be one of the 2 dancers to represent our campus for the full 46 hours during THON weekend. During THON weekend, students come together for a no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon to raise money and spread awareness for pediatric cancer.
My brother, Derek was born on November 10, 1995. He graduated at Clelian Heights school (2017), which is located in Greensburg, PA. Derek was a member of the Clelian Heights Basketball Team, still plays baseball at the PAL’s Play Ball Adaptive Baseball League, and also still participates in Special Olympics. He also enjoys bowling, music, and swimming.
About Derek’s Syndrome…
“Each year in the United States, approximately 50 to 60 children are born with 5p- Syndrome (five p minus), also known as Cat Cry Syndrome or Cri du Chat Syndrome. 5p- Syndrome is characterized at birth by a high pitched cry, low birth weight, poor muscle tone, microcephaly, and potential medical complications. "5p-" is a term used by geneticists to describe a portion of chromosome number five that is missing in these individuals.
Most individuals who have 5p- Syndrome have difficulty with language. Some become able to use short sentences, while others express themselves with a few basic words, gestures, or sign language.
Nearly all children with 5p- Syndrome have poor muscle tone when they are young. Other characteristics may include feeding difficulties, delays in walking, hyperactivity, scoliosis, and significant retardation. A small number of children are born with serious organ defects and other life threatening medical conditions, although most individuals with 5p- can anticipate a normal life expectancy.
Both children and adults with this syndrome are usually friendly and happy, and enjoy social interaction. With early and consistent educational intervention, as well as physical and language therapy, children with 5p- Syndrome are capable of reaching their fullest potential and can lead full and meaningful lives. (5p- Society)”
100% of Raeann's Bracelets sales have been donated to charity, OVER $55,000!!!
"CREATING AWARENESS ONE BEAD AT A TIME"
Special Needs Awareness BraceletIn honor of any person with special needs. Each color in this bracelet has a special meaning.
5p- or Cri du Chat Syndrome BraceletThis is a creation made in honor of Derek and his friends with 5p-. These can also be made with a birthstone color of your choice.
Breast Cancer Awareness BraceletMany different types of cancer awareness bracelets can be made. (Lung, Brain, Stomach, Melanoma, etc.)
All profits from the sale of Raeann's awareness bracelets are donated to the mentioned charities. For more information on how to order please contact us. This is only a sampling of the many types of bracelets in which Raeann makes.