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How a $3 Bracelet Became a $500 Donation for

Maroon braceletYou just never know what can happen. That’s why I talk about to almost everyone I meet. There are a few ways I can bring up the topic in conversation. If someone asks me how I’ve been doing, I tell them I’ve been busily involved with an organization called iSACRA. If someone asks me about my condition, I explain it and tell people that it is rare, but an organization called iSACRA provides opportunities for those of us to connect with others like ourselves.

Now that has bracelets that we can sell to raise funds, I have all the more reason to talk to people about the organization. Of course, selling a bracelet for a few dollars does not put a lot of money into the organization, but the bracelets are just a reason to start the conversation. Sometimes that conversation leads to larger donations.

If I’m going to sell them a bracelet, I have to have a sales pitch. Usually, I start off with something like, “I’m selling bracelets to support an organization called . It’s for people like myself, who have the rare condition of sacral agenesis or caudal regression syndrome. We want to develop materials for medical professionals, parents, and educators so they can be more informed about this condition. We also want to offer camps and even conferences. Would you like to buy one to support our cause?”

It was hard to just go up and talk to people at first, but the more I did it, the easier it became, and I had some great conversations with people as a result of just asking. I like to print our  information flyers and take them along with me and hand them out with the bracelets so that I’m raising awareness, not just selling bracelets. When I go somewhere, I try to set a goal for myself to talk to at least a certain number of people and to sell at least a certain number of bracelets. Although I tell people a price for the bracelets, such as $4, they often end up giving me a $5 or $10 bill. I sell bracelets to people at my school and to people at the sports events I attend, and last spring I was able to raise $150 this way.

Silver braceletWhen I was at a track meet, just meeting people, I asked them to buy bracelets. I approached one man who had found a place to sit in the shade to watch the races. After I introduced myself and we talked for a few minutes, he asked me about my condition. I was ready. I had flyers and bracelets in the sling under my wheelchair. With his prompt, I pulled them out and shared a flyer with him. I told him about SA/CRS and offered him the opportunity to support through purchasing a bracelet.

He thought about it for a minute, and I thought he was going to turn me down, but then he totally surprised me by asking, “Well, how about if I just give you a $500 donation?” I was speechless. We worked it out that he could make his donation using the donation button on our website. Sure enough, he did, and I was beyond excited. If you have your information ready and you take the opportunity to talk to people about , you, too, can turn a $3 bracelet into a $500 donation. You just never know who you might talk to and what good things will result from a simple conversation.

To buy bracelets, go to www.isacra.org/merchandise.php. These are the (latex-free!) silicone bracelets, and they’re available in silver with maroon writing or maroon with silver writing. You can buy them for $3 each, a pack of 10 bracelets for $25, or a pack of 20 bracelets for $30. Buy them in bulk to give to your friends or to use as an fundraiser.

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The International Sacral Agenesis/Caudal Regression Association is a 501(c)(3) organization.

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