7-year-old girl sells friendship bracelets, raises $27K for Chicago Children’s Hospital

A 7-year-old girl from Chicago is making sure those on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic have the equipment they need to stay safe. She’s doing it by making friendship bracelets.

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Hayley Orlinsky’s mother Lori Orlinsky said she thought the bracelets would keep her busy for a few hours or a few days. But that was 10 months ago and Hayley is still going strong.

She had planned to raise about $200 to give to the hospital where she was born.

Hayley was born at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and was a patient at the neonatal intensive care unit, The New York Times reported last month.

Then her mother posted Hayley’s endeavor to Facebook. In hours, it was up to $1,400.

Hi Everyone! Do you remember Hayley, the inspiration behind “Being Small?” She’s now 7 years old and has a heart of gold, which I believe is due to coming out on the other side from being bullied. She’s making bracelets to raise money for hospitals to get more masks for healthcare workers. Please PM me if you’d like to help! Each bracelet is $3 or 2/$5. 100% of the money goes to charity. She’s currently raised about $900.

Posted by Lori Orlinsky, Author on Sunday, March 29, 2020

After that first inflow of money, she got another boost from Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot who not only bought bracelets in the team colors of the White Sox, Bears and the city’s flag but also shared the story on social media.

Then Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered bracelets.

She did so much for the hospital, the White Sox named Hayley as a “Hero Beyond the Diamond,” the Times reported.

Over the summer, she recruited 400 friends from camp, and Hayley would come home with 10 to 20 bracelets made by her friends. Word spread again with kids across the country helping make the bracelets and raise money for the hospital.

A Louisiana mom donated charms to decorate the jewelry, enabling Hayley to charge more, Scripps Media reported.

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Over 10 months, she was able to raise nearly $27,000 for the hospital while charging $3 for a standard bracelet or $5 for one with an extra charm.

She also has no plans to stop, telling Scripps Media, “I wanna do it ‘til everybody’s vaccinated and COVID is over.”

If you want to help Hayley raise money for the hospital, click here.