Posted: Apr 12, 2011 2:44 AM
Updated: Apr 12, 2011 8:52 AM
ORO VALLEY - Within days of the January 8th tragedy in Tucson those white wristbands started showing up. Debossed with the words "Remember 1-8-11.
The student body government at Ironwood Ridge High put the bands in motion, because the youngest victim, Christina Taylor Green, was a kid in their district.
The bracelets were a buck each and became much more than an 8-inch piece of recycled silicone.
On January 8th members of the Ironwood ridge student body government were setting up for their winter formal. They were planning and putting up decorations.
"So when we found out the fact that, like, the tragedy that actually happened while we were doing that, we, I know that all of us were just sort of in a daze," says Trevor Barroero, incoming Student Body President.
They went on with the dance but it was tough. The following Monday they were inspired to help.
"I don't even think that it was a question of should we do this. I think it was, like, how are we going to do this?"
Matt Filbert came up with the idea.
"We decided to go with some Livestrong bracelets that Lance Armstrong would sell and I knew you could customize them. So we just went to a website and got a few hundred, 800 to sell just to our school."
Those sold out instantly.
"We ordered 2,000, and then 5,000, and then eventually worked our way up to 20,000. We ordered 15,000 once...twice!"
"I never imagined that we would get to the point where we are right now," says Samantha Burgin the Student Body Government Class teacher.
They were swamped everyday with buyers from across the country. It was overwhelming.
"Okay. What are we thinking and what do we need? Do we need more? Do we need more?"
That's when it started to sink in; what these the white wristbands had become.
"I was driving home from California and somebody was driving and had their arm up on the window and I saw the white wristband and I was like, 'huh! Oh my Gosh! I don't know you. I mean just to see it not in Tucson was huge."
A lesson learned that you can make a difference.
"It was amazing watching my kids really work through this and see what they've done and how it's helping other people," says Samantha.
"I felt proud to be, not only a student at Ironwood Ridge, but a member of this Tucson community," Trevor explains. "To realize that when an event like this happens that the entire community just sort of comes together."
The kids sold 35,000 wristbands and raised $40,000. Every dime goes to the victims of that terrible tragedy.
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