Monthly Archives: September 2009

Silicone Wristbands Continue to Aid Armed Forces

Founders of Freedombands Inc. have decided to make themselves a non-profit company to lower costs and raise more money with their Freedombands href=””>Personalized Wristbands.
They already raised more than $30,000 for the Armed Forces Relief Trust (AFRT). They hope to continue helping soldiers and their families. Here’s more:

“The inception of this new nonprofit organization will bring increased effectiveness to the efforts of the founders of Freedombands by similarly donating all after-cost revenue from its colorful patriotic wristbands to support the U.S. troops.

“We only hope that this new company’s status as a not-for-profit organization will allow us to lower costs and provide even more support to the AFRT,” said Steve Cloward, president and chief executive officer of Bands For Freedom. “Due to the simply unbelievable response to the cause of the AFRT and the patriotic wristbands, we saw the window of opportunity for the creation of a company that is totally dedicated to this great cause.”

Cloward explained that in the time he has been involved with the AFRT he has realized how necessary its role is for the troops. Aside from donating money earned through the sale of its Bands For Freedom(TM) wristbands, Cloward says he feels an urgent responsibility to educate the public about the great needs of the men and women in uniform.

Last week Cloward presented yet another $10,000 donation to the AFRT to provide emergency funds for U.S. military soldiers and their families. This third check brings the donation total to $30,000. Michael Brown, director of the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society’s office at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego for the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society in California, accepted the check on Dec. 23 during a live newscast on the NBC 7 morning show in San Diego.”


Raising Money and Awareness for the Troops

Have you been looking for a way to support the troops? One company, out of Utah, found a way to raise awareness about the needs of our troops: freedom bands. Just like other rubber wristbands , these have their own personalize colors (red, white, and blue—fittingly) and their motto.
“Cloward explained that in the time he has been involved with the AFRT he has realized how necessary its role is for the troops. Aside from donating money earned through the sale of its Bands For Freedom(TM) wristbands, Cloward says he feels an urgent responsibility to educate the public about the great needs of the men and women in uniform” (
It’s good to see the wristbands being used for so many good causes.

Fraternity sells bracelets.

Sigma Phi Epsilon, a fraternity at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois decided to sell Silicone Wristbands to raise money for the American Heart Association. They sold the bracelets to sororities at their college. Read more in this article for

“Not only is the Livestrong bracelet fad sweeping across the United States, but a new trend is starting here at Eastern.

Sigma Phi Epsilon came up with the idea to raise money for the American Heart Association by selling personalized wristbands, similar to the Livestrong bands, to most of the sorority houses on campus. After totaling the final numbers, Sig Ep raised $670 to benefit the charity, said Mike Behnke, vice president for Sig Ep finances.

“We knew they would be the best and easiest way to raise money since they became very popular,” Behnke said. “I see girls at the (Student Recreation Center) with four or five on, so I was thinking, ‘What’s one more with their sorority names on it?'”

The wrist bands were offered to all sororities, he said.

“Each house was given a sheet to fill out what color they wanted and what they wanted the bracelet to say, ” Behnke said.

Due to legal issues, the sororities will not be able to have their Greek letters on the bracelets, but they can personalize them however they want, Behnke said.

Sig Ep sent out representatives to sorority chapter meetings to promote the idea of the bracelets.

“Greeks support each other, and we thought it was a good idea, going off the Livestrong,” said Laura Schade, former Sigma Sigma Sigma president. “We ordered about 80.”

The girls were really excited and all voted to order them at a chapter meeting, she said.”


Livestrong at Ohio State

It’s probably no surprise, since we’ve seen the Livestrong wristband in just about every conceivable location, that they are popular on college campuses. As I continue to see where people are wearing them, I never cease to be amazed at their ability to reach so many people in so many different walks of life.
“The yellow, silicone wristband has shown up on the wrists of Ohio State University students around campus, despite personal style preferences, and continues to be a fashion staple for the fall.”

Despite personal style preferences…good point. Everyone seems to be wearing these.

“The wristband debuted in May 2004, and as soon as it hit the shelves of athletic stores it sold out — not once, but twice. The wristbands were sold at stores such as Footlocker, Champs and Niketown. Initially, they were sold individually for $1, but the enormous demand for the wristbands made it nearly impossible to find them sold anywhere individually” (

Kicking for a Cure

Carlos Martinez, a kicker for the Georgia Force footbal team decided to donate $25 for every field goal he scored and $10 for every extra point he scored during the 2008 season, to finding a cure for ovarian cancer. He also encouraged fans to help. One way they could do this was by buying Silicone Wristbands at the football games. Scott Sowers tells more:

“An extended family member of mine was diagnosed with this disease in early November,” said Martinez. “So I did research on it and wanted to do a fundraiser. I contacted the Institute and we set up Kicking for the Cure.”

Martinez has been with the Georgia Force since the last seven weeks of the 2007 season after being released by the Dallas Cowboys. His career long field goal is 59 yards, but he said that he tries not to think of this fundraiser while he’s out on the field.

“I just go out there and try to do my job. I hope the offense can score a lot of touchdowns so I can kick extra points, and if they want me to try a field goal, well, that’s fine, too,” he said.

Fans can help out the cause by purchasing t-shirts and bracelets at the fundraiser booth at each home game at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. Each shirt will cost $10 while the teal silicone bracelets will come with a $1 donation.

“Right now we’re planning three to four events this season where fans can come out and help the cause. My teammates have been very supportive of my efforts with this,” the kicker said.”


Wristbands Part of Gift Bag at Golf Tournament

In support of yet another cause, a candle company is giving away Livestrong wristbands (in support of the Lance Armstrong Foundation) at a golf tournament. Yet again, we are seeing support of the cancer awareness campaign:
“The donated 4oz travel Scandle® Massage Candles will feature silicone bands that the champion cyclist, Lance Armstrong, made so popular. Armstrong promoted a yellow wristband as the symbol of all the hardships and trials that he passed through in order to beat cancer. As a result, over 70 million units of the LIVESTRONG bracelets have been sold to support cancer research to date” (
It’s amazing, isn’t it, how widespread and popular these wristbands have become?

12 Year Old Gives Wristband to the President

12 year old Bobby Powell lost a friend to a rare neurological disorder. He wanted to do something in his friend’s memory so he sold Custom Wristbands to raise money for research on the disorder. President Bush honored Bobby during a visit to Arkansas and Bobby gave him a wristband. Here’s more of the story:

“Bush offered the greeting that has become an informal trademark of the likely Democrat presidential nominee after honoring Robbie Powell for his volunteer efforts.

“He just held out his fist and I knew what that meant,” Robbie said after greeting the president on the tarmac at the Little Rock National Airport.

Robbie gave the president one of the green silicone “Live 4 Ben” bracelets that he has been selling as a tribute to a friend who died from a neurological disorder. Bush accepted the bracelet and immediately put it on.

Robbie, a student at Bob Courtway Middle School, received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for his efforts Tuesday. He has raised about $2,000 from selling the bracelets, which will go toward research into a condition called neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation.

Robbie’s friend Ben Patterson died in August from the rare neurological disorder.

“Last year, when he died, I wanted to do something,” Robbie said Tuesday. “I had a lot of those silicone bracelets and I remembered his favorite color was green, so I went online and made some that we could sell at the football games.”


“Climb the Mountain” Bracelets

There are so many great phrases coming out on silicone wristbands , all with their own personal, important meanings. A young soccer player, fighting a battle with cancer, is being supported by friends and family who are wearing bracelets in her name and sporting the saying “climb the mountain.”

“When the team learned about Katie’s condition, they brainstormed ideas to help the family. Parents said they wanted to make sure Bob and Mary Kay could focus on Katie’s health, rather than worrying about finances.

They got the idea to sell bracelets, similar to the Lance Armstrong Livestrong bracelet, to raise money for the family. In the team’s colors of neon green and blue, the bracelet says, “Katie Hawley #3 Climb the Mountain.”

Katie’s number is three and the phrase “climb the mountain” is a metaphor their coach uses to inspire the team, said Curt Wasserman, the father of one of Katie’s teammates” (
Every bracelet has their own unique flavor and personality. Because they are so personalized, they can really make people think about something in a different way.

Wristbands are more than a fad.

The wristband craze started with Lance Armstrong selling yellow livestrong bracelets to raise money for cancer victims and their familes. Many other organizations soon caught on and now there are wristbands for anything you can think of. Silicone Wristbands have often been called a fad. But are they more than that? Mark Hrywna talks about this in the Non-Profit Times:

“Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines fad as “a practice or interest followed for a time with exaggerated zeal.” So if nonprofits continue to employ the Livestrong-like bracelets today, several years after their “heyday,” can they be considered a fad? Furthermore, the Lance Armstrong Foundation itself might not be moving 22 million units like it’s 2005, but the 2.4 million bracelets sold last year were twice as many as the previous year.

“It was definitely a phenomenon when it came out, and…it’s a phenomenon that hasn’t gone away and it continues to grow in awareness and impact,” said Betty Otter-Nickerson, chief operating officer at LAF.

“Some people have had the sense that they’re not as important, but I think the numbers kind of show the increase in awareness around the mission and the cause as the wristband is an iconic figure for that and it continues to be something that we distribute and sell widely,” Otter-Nickerson said.

Today, while some might be looking for the next fundraising phenomenon to come on the scene, nonprofits continue to use the bracelets to brand their causes and identify supporters. And many still make a few bucks while they’re at it.”


Tailgaters Using Rubber Wristbands

I often try to find those stories where people’s lives are touched with the use of silicone wristbands . But, occasionally I come across stories where people are using these wristbands for completely different purposes. Check this out from the University of Virginia:
“A new university policy limited the pre-game partying on the University of Virginia lawn. Students who live there could only have 40 guests and they had to be identified by wristbands. But this new lawn policy didn’t stop tailgaters Saturday.
The lawn may have been a bit quieter, but fans still managed to have a good time before the game, just in different spots.
The usually packed lawn was only sprinkled with Cavalier fans Saturday afternoon. The new rule had students and their guests alike all sporting the rubber wristbands” (
Apparently we can now limit the number of tailgaters to football games! Maybe I’ll start using this rule at my own home—no rubber wristband? Get off my lawn!