Monthly Archives: July 2009

Custom Wristbands in Australia

Celebrities across the globe are using custom wristbands to share messages of hope. Australian marathon runner, and record holder, Deborah De Williams is also hoping to raise money with such wristbands. Here’s her story coming from the Cowra Guardian, a local Australian newspaper:

“Marathon world and Australian record holder, Deborah De Williams is challenging herself to run 20,000kms in 365 days in an effort to raise money for breast cancer research.
The 12 month journey, which commenced in October 2008, will take Deborah through Cowra on Wednesday, January 7, 2009.

Cowra Mayor Bill West is encouraging members of the community to welcome Deborah and her Director of Greeting (D.O.G), six year old Border Collie Maggie to Cowra on this date.
“Breast cancer is unfortunately a disease that touches many in our community,” Cr West said.
“Deborah’s courage and commitment to this cause is admirable and will help fund the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s important research for better prevention and a cure,” he said.

Deborah De Williams battled breast cancer herself in 2006 and ran around Tasmania only six weeks after finishing six months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

“I will be at Woolworths Cowra to welcome Deborah and Maggie and I invite members of the community to join me in a show of support from the Cowra community,” Cr West said.
Deborah and Maggie will arrive at Woolworths in Cowra at 6pm on Wednesday.

Donations can be made in advance at Council’s Customer Service Centre.

Running Pinks main aim is to raise over $300,000 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
To achieve this goal Running Pink is selling commemoration run wristbands.
The aim is to sell over 500,000 of these fun and attractive pink swirl silicone bands” (http://www.cowraguardian.com.au/news/local/news/general/one-step-at-a-time/1399729.aspx).

Bringing Hope with Rubber Bracelets

In another story about hope after tragedy, are mentioned as a way that celebrities have used their popularity to earn money and spread awareness. This article, by the Boston Globe mentions Lance Armstrong’s bracelet as one such method:
“Two emotions coursed through Janet Harrington when she heard about Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s malignant brain tumor. First, there was an aching sadness. Harrington remembered her late husband’s 2 1/2-year, determined battle against the same disease, through three surgeries, several clinical trials, radiation, and memory loss before, ultimately, his death three years ago today. It’s a struggle she dreads for any family.
But that sadness evolved to something else: hope.
“People are going to pay attention to brain cancer now,” said Harrington, a 50-year-old Brookline after-school coordinator who started a nonprofit, the Neil Harrington Memorial Fund, to raise money for the disease.
Since Tuesday’s announcement of Kennedy’s diagnosis, hope has been quietly building in the nation’s far-flung cancer community that the senator’s unparalleled stature and star power might attract more attention to this relatively rare malignancy and push his colleagues in Washington to increase now-static federal funding for cancer research.
Celebrities stricken with various diseases have become powerful fund-raisers and beacons for education and treatment.

Los Angeles Lakers basketball legend Magic Johnson has advocated for HIV/AIDS causes and New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi has championed stroke awareness. Actor Michael J. Fox has lobbied for Parkinson’s treatments and created a foundation, which touts more than $120 million raised for research. And there’s cyclist Lance Armstrong, whose battle back from testicular cancer to win the Tour de France inspired legions to sport his bright yellow “Live Strong” rubber wristbands and donate to his foundation. It reports raising $181 million” (http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2008/05/24/champions_of_hope/).

Personalized Wristbands Help Heal a Family

In an effort to help raise money, many charity organizations have been able to sell personalized wristbands that promote ideas and people. Here’s a great story about a youth cheerleading organization that designed personalized wristbands to earn money for a family whose daughter was killed in a car accident:
“Mothers everywhere will receive gifts, cards and hugs this Sunday. But, for those who have suffered the loss of a child, the day is a time of remembered gifts and kisses.

Cheryl Wright of Pleasant Hills will spend her first Mother’s Day without her daughter, Tia, 12, who was killed in a traffic accident on April 5.

Tia’s father, Karl Wright, continues to recover from serious injuries suffered in that two-vehicle collision, blamed on a drunken teenage driver. Another 12-year-old, a passenger in the Wright car and

Tia’s best friend, is also recuperating from injuries.

Despite her grief, Mrs. Wright is finding comfort from friends, neighbors — even strangers.
“The community has been wonderful, [it] has done more than we could have ever expected,” Mrs. Wright said.

Local businesses donated the funeral services and flowers for Tia, she said. Food was also donated to feed the more than 800 people who attended a memorial service at the Pleasant Hills Community Presbyterian Church on April 13.

Since the funeral, friends and strangers continue to offer gestures of kindness. Neighbors have brought over dinners, and a landscaper volunteered to help plant flowers in the family’s yard, Mrs. Wright said. Also, about 30 of Tia’s friends showed up at the family’s front door, she aid, looking for ways to help around the house. A neighborhood boy went door-to-door collecting money for the family.

The latest effort to support the Wright family is being spearheaded by the Thomas Jefferson Youth Cheerleading Association, which is selling rubber wristbands in Thomas Jefferson’s school colors, black and gold. The bands read simply, “Tia.” Tia had cheered for years with the group.

Bracelet sales were officially kicked off Friday night at the high school at a basketball game between some Steelers and TJ youth football coaches. Proceeds benefitted the building of the TJ youth football complex, but about 100 bracelets were sold that night.

The group said that it is hoping to raise $10,000 by selling 2,000 bracelets, at a cost of $5 each. Because the wristbands were underwritten by local photography business Prints Charming Designs, Inc., all of the money spent to purchase bracelets will go to the Wright family” (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08129/879843-55.stm).

Rubber Wristbands and Raising Babies

Ok, so this might sound a little strange, but new parents are having to come up with all kinds of new devices to help them remember what they need to do next with their babies. Anything from electronic timers to bath spout covers are being considered. Check out this article from the Globe and Mail News that lists rubber wristbands as a way to help with breast feeding!

“’I shared every possible parenting task with my wife,’ says Greg Sheldon, the inventor of the device, which can be clipped to your clothing. “After countless times asking each other questions like, ‘How long ago did you change his diaper?’ and ‘How long ago did he wake up?’ and ‘How long ago did you feed him?’ and ‘How long ago did you give him medication?’ I wrote a simple program for our computer that gave us four timers to remember all of these things.”

But logging onto the computer when they wanted to know when the baby last ate wasn’t always convenient, so Sheldon created a portable version, the Itzbeen Baby Timer. As in, “It’s been two hours since I changed a diaper…”

The device not only features four timers, which answers all of the “It’s been” questions, it also includes a nursing reminder switch, which reminds you which side the baby nursed from last. Apparently, mommy brain can make you forget even left and right.

There’s also the Bath Spout Cover with Digital Thermometer, which helps parents set the correct temperature of water and automatically turns off after 20 minutes of inactivity.

But reminder devices for forgetful moms are not all high-tech. Milk Bands look like the Lance Armstrong rubber wristbands that were all the rage (milkbands.com). They indicate which breast was last used, how long ago the baby was fed and even the number of diaper changes, using little markers that stick into holes in the band. (Hey, maybe they’ll turn into a fashion statement)” (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/article95394.ece).

Rubber Wristbands to Get a Date?

That’s right. They’re thinking of everything these days. We have heard about people using rubber (or silicone) wristbands to share messages for companies and charity organizations. But recently, groups of singles have started wearing rubber wristbands that shout out their marital (or lack thereof) status. What do you think, would you be willing to wear one of these to get a date? See what the Star Tribune notes about how they got started:

“Pay attention: There will be a quiz.

The news is of yet another variation on Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong wristbands. They’re Single Bands, described by their Edina inventor as “wristbands you wear to let others know you are single.”

As the original bands highlight the fight against cancer, these bands fight cluelessness.
Cathie Hill came up with the idea two years ago after growing frustrated with the dating scene.

“I look around and I don’t know who’s available at a park or at a bank,” she said. “A wedding band means nothing anymore. But if they were wearing something, I’d know who I could smile at.”

That “something” could be a Single Band in helpful color codes: Blue is for never married; green, divorced; purple, gays and lesbians; orange, bisexuals; yellow, separated; red, widowed, and pink, living with someone — and presumably smart enough not to wear that band around the house.

The idea has been met with some skepticism, even snarkiness. Mused a writer for Boca Raton magazine: Is someone actually going to approach a widow at Starbucks and say, “Sorry about your husband. Can I buy you a latte?”

Why not? says Hill, who’s worn a green band for two years. ‘It’s like when you buy Trivial Pursuit,” she said. “You have no idea how it works until you read the instructions and learn the colors. So Single Bands are kind of like a game, but it’s real life’” (http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/41216767.html?elr=KArks7PYDiaK7DUHPYDiaK7DUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUUr).

From Stickers to Glow-in-the-Dark Wristbands

Successful organizations usually find the creative ways to get their messages across. The article below, from the California Chronicle, spotlights an organization that started handing out stickers to spread a message of racial unity. Eventually, the organization began making glow-in-the-dark silicone wristbands . Check it out:

“9 years ago, on the first day of the new millennium, artist JT Thompson started handing out free “One Human Family” stickers to increase awareness that “like fingers on a hand, we appear separate; but each of us are in fact an integral part of each other.” He printed 2,000 stickers and biked them every Sunday to shops and businesses around Key West, Florida. They went quickly.

Soon, he had to print more stickers…5,000, 10,000 and then 25,000 at a time as people of all colors, classes, religions, nationalities, orientations and abilities asked for them. On October 17, 2000, the Key West City Commission unanimously adopted “One Human Family” as the city´s official philosophy, declaring “we want to share our unique perspective and simple words of hope ´One Human Family´ with our global neighbors, so others can find inspiration to grow beyond the artificial limitations of racism, nationalism, classism, monotheism, prejudice, homophobia and every other illusion used to try to separate us from all being equal.” No city had ever taken such a strong stand to declare the unity and equality of all people but Key West is not like anywhere else.

JT continued to print stickers and send them out worldwide. In 2001, an all-volunteer non-profit organization was established where 100% of contributions went to printing stickers. In early 2001, the Monroe County Commission unanimously voted ´One Human Family´ as the official philosophy of the county as well.

“One Human Family” has been endorsed by groups as diverse as Carnival Cruise Lines, Tropicana Orange Juice, General Motors´ AFL-CIO and the Simon Weisenthal Holocaust Museum, along with academic groups, clubs and activists across the nation. JT reports that he is now sending out up to 15,000 stickers a month – always for free. Some people even include them when paying bills or in their holiday cards. “The win/win nature of OHF,” he explains, “is that people not only get a message of unity and equality, but they also learn that Key West is the most welcoming and inclusive island in the world, which is great for attracting tourism!”
“I have had people write and tell me that they are working to reduce racism, sexism, nationalism, classism and homophobia using the stickers. People really connect with the simple honesty of it… and everyone´s participation helps,” JT adds. In the last 9 years, one million stickers have been distributed for free… from Pago Pago to Pakistan, from Tibet to Scotland and from Spain to Japan. JT even took 50,000 stickers to Sydney, Australia in 2002 and 50,000 to Chicago in 2006 for the IGG. But, JT reminds us, “It´s not about any one group – it is about promoting unity for all people with everyone supporting equal rights, dignity and respect for everyone else… the way the world should be.”

In addition to the free stickers, JT now also hands out glow-in-the-dark silicone wristbands, which give people the opportunity to talk about unity and equality with those they meet. You can get stickers and wristbands free and 100% of every contribution goes to printing costs. To find out more about the project, visit the website at www.OneHumanFamily.info” (http://www.californiachronicle.com/articles/view/87528).

Spreading the Message with Silicone Wristbands

With so many ways to spread a message, what really works and what doesn’t? Do you belong to a group, organization, company that wants to share a message? silicone wristbands may just be the way to go. An article from the San Francisco Chronicle shows just how effective they can be:

“Keep hope alive. Don’t give up the fight. Be true to your school.
All of these tasks can now be accomplished with a single action: Buy a silicone wristband — of the appropriate color, of course.

Since the yellow LiveStrong wristbands produced to show support for Tour de France cycling champion and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong made their debut last summer, America has gone wristband wild.

People are purchasing them by the millions in every color of the rainbow. Sales of the LiveStrong band have topped $31 million, outstripping demand for red and pink ribbons, pins that support AIDS and cancer patients, and yellow ribbons that signify support for the U.S. military.

A critic of President Bush can bear his politics on his arm with a purple “Never Surrender” promise from Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream co-founder Ben Cohen. If that’s too bold, perhaps a nice blue bracelet from www.howblueareyou.com, a Web site created in Oakland. Or you could choose the “HOPE” wristband offered by Laura Adams of Fairway, Kan.

In Florida, a case of dueling wristbands pits daughter against father. When Berns Rothchild began selling “Count Me Blue” wristbands, her father John Rothchild of Miami Beach, Fla., countered with the production of 5,000 “Count Me Red” wristbands. The two are now locked in a friendly contest to see who will sell more.

America’s latest fad takes the adage about wearing your emotions — or your politics — on your sleeve to a new level.

Since the beginning of this month, howblueareyou.com has sold about 4,000 of the blue wristbands, including quite a few in such so-called red states as Florida and Ohio, said Caitlin Martindale of Oakland, who used $3,000 in retirement savings to start the Web site.

A portion of the proceeds will be split between contributions to the Democratic National Committee and the Gulf War Resource Center, the primary advocacy and support group for veterans of both Iraqi wars” (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article/article?f=/c/a/2005/01/24/BAGRFAV3771.DTL).

Lance Armstrong Sued an Animal Charity?

Maybe this is old news, but it may come as a surprise to many that Lance Armstrong sued an animal charity group for copyright infringement. His ever-famous Livestrong wristbands are known worldwide. It is no wonder an organization would try to cash in on the idea. But, what do you think, is using the slogan “Barkstrong” or “Purrstrong” too similar to Armstrong’s slogan? Here’s an article by ESPN that talks about the suit:
“The Lance Armstrong Foundation has sued a man, alleging his animal charity’s pet collars infringe on the foundation’s trademark yellow LiveStrong wristbands.
The lawsuit seeks to stop Animal Charity Collar Group Inc. from using the phrases Barkstrong and Purrstrong, the yellow bands and the Web site barkstrong.net. It also seeks unspecified monetary damages and the cancellation of the company’s Purrstrong trademark and its pending application for the Barkstrong trademark.
Animal Charity Collar Group, a for-profit company based in Tulsa, Okla., makes the collars for animal rescue groups to sell. It also sells them on its Web site for $4.99.
The pet collars “are confusingly similar to, and are likely to cause confusion, mistake or deception” about their origin or affiliation with the Lance Armstrong Foundation, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

Armstrong, a seven-time winner of the Tour de France, started the foundation bearing his name in 1997 after recovering from advanced testicular cancer that had spread to his abdomen, lungs and brain.
Since 2004, the Austin-based foundation has sold more than 70 million LiveStrong wristbands for $1 each to raise money for cancer research and programs for survivors. The wristbands are a symbol of the foundation’s goodwill, the lawsuit says.
Chris Ohman, CEO of Animal Charity Collar Group, said the glow-in-the-dark pet collars were his company’s idea. They come in white, yellow-green, pink and orange and have paw prints embedded on either side of the phrase.
“It is not something that could be confused with a bracelet or any other product they have,” Ohman said.
He said he approached the Lance Armstrong Foundation when he started the collar project in 2006, but the foundation declined to participate because it was not related to cancer research” (http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/cycling/news/story?id=3019026&campaign=rsssrch&source=pet).

Livestrong Wristbands: Flashback to 2004

Nowadays, you’ve probably seen them on several people. It seems like the Livestrong wristbands are all over the place. But have you wondered where they started? Check out this Seattle Times article from 2004 when the wristbands were relatively new:
John Kerry wears one. President Bush has one, too. So do several movie stars.
One of the hottest fashion trends in America is the “Live Strong” yellow wristband produced by the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the cycling superstar’s cancer-fighting organization.
Since the fund-raising effort started in May, the charity has sold about 7 million of the rubber wristbands for $1 each — and it plans to sell 1.8 million more. Nike donated the first $1 million, and proceeds go toward programs for young people with cancer.

Sales easily surpassed the $6 million the foundation initially hoped to raise.
“It’s been an overwhelming experience,” said Mitch Stoller, president of the Lance Armstrong Foundation. “I think everybody, from average Americans to celebrities, are getting the message of courage and hope.”
Armstrong overcame advanced testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain before putting together one of the most astonishing athletic feats of all time by winning a record six Tour de France titles, all in a row. The 32-year-old secured the sixth victory July 25.
Armstrong was given a 50 percent chance to live in 1996 but has won every Tour de France since 1999. He has inspired cancer survivors around the world and linked himself to the traditional yellow jersey worn by the Tour de France leader and champion” (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sports/2001995259_lance03.html)

Businesses Make Use of Custom Wristbands

Many non-profit organizations are using custom wristbands to spread messages. Now, more than ever, it seems like businesses are using them as well to market slogans and products as well. PowerHomeBiz.com shares a few ideas about how businesses can rethink the custom wristband idea:
“Today there are thousands of organizations or they could be simply called as Non-Profit Organizations who work to help someone in need and not for money/profit. These non-profit organizations or charities depend on funds which they pull in from their members or supporters. They also end up having fund raising events where they raise funds, but when they use attractive wristbands or key chains or key bands, the organization ends up raising some money as well as get the message across to the people. Lot of groups, especially activists groups see that their campaigns or programmers or any kind of events are targeted at the young generations or the youth.

For instance the Lance Armstrong Foundation who fights cancer came up with their famous yellow color wristbands which were sold in millions across the globe raising money for their charity and it made people stand up for the cause and fight the disease. Coming to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the world’s largest animal rights group gives away and also sells wristbands for their activists and members, this helps them to bring awareness for the cause and raise some money. As both these organizations have targeted their silicone wristbands at youths it has become really famous. The designs were also made to attract them for the cause, and it slowly turned to be a fashion statement!
Do you remember Tsunami relief wristbands from the American Red Cross? These Tsunami relief wristbands were sold to get funds for the American Red Cross society to support the reconstruction efforts in Southeast Asians who were affected by the disastrous waves. So thanks to these silicone bracelets for helping those who are in need! Here are some tips that will help organizations to raise some funds via wristbands. Firstly see that you target the young adults; the color and message on the wristbands has to be definitely attractive and catchy. Try to design your wristbands differently, and see that it has something unique. For example it can be ‘glow in dark’ bands or key chains. Or the band can be broader, which is again not a common design when it is compared to the ordinary bracelets” (http://www.powerhomebiz.com/News/072008/silicone-wristbands.htm).