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Teens Make Quick Deploy Paracord Bracelets For The Military



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Supporting those who serve the nation is a way for individuals to give back to those who give so much. For three local teenagers, they came together to do just that by creating quick deploy paracord bracelets at the C.H. Booth Library.Those interested in participating making quick deploy paracord bracelets at the C.H. Booth Library can contact Kim Weber at chbya@chboothlibrary.org.To learn more about Operation Gratitude and find resources for making quick deploy paracord bracelets visit operationgratitude.com.

Young Adult Librarian Kim Weber organized the summer project after learning about a national, nonprofit group called Operation Gratitude.

Operation Gratitude's website says the organizations sends more than 200,000 care packages each year to "veterans, first responders, new recruits, wounded heroes, their care givers, and to individually named US service members deployed overseas and their families waiting at home."

The care packages from civilians range from including personalized letters of appreciation, food, entertainment, hygienic products, as well as handmade items to lift the spirits of those serving.

One of the handmade options Operation Gratitude encourages people to make are the quick deploy (also know as "quick release") paracord bracelets.

Paracord is short for "parachute cord" - frequently referred to as "550 cord" - and is a type of sturdy lightweight nylon kernmantle rope. It is useful for many tasks on and off the battle field, as its design makes it versatile to help in many scenarios.

These specifically requested quick deploy paracords are 7½ feet long unwound, but are precisely woven into 8- or 9-inch-long pieces that loop to create a bracelet.

Newtown residents Aliya Hafiz, her twin sister Sofiya Hafiz, and friend Aalia Haque, all 15 years old, had never heard about quick deploy paracord bracelets before this summer, but knew they wanted to volunteer their free time at the library.

When Ms Weber explained to them what the project entailed and that it would make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who received the care package, they were all eager to help out.

The trio did research online, including watching many YouTube tutorial videos, to learn the technique of assembling the bracelets.

Aliya estimates it took them about five minutes to construct the bracelet, but ensuring they achieved the exact specifications was the most time consuming part.

"It's fast to make, but the measuring process takes a while. We also have to seal the edges to make sure that they don't fray," Aliya explained.

She added, "My sister, my friend, and I bonded making them. At first it was difficult to figure out how to make them, then we kind of got the hang of it and started making more and more."

Ms Weber had made a goal for them to mail out 50 bracelets by the end of summer, but already - as of Monday, August 14 - the teenagers have surpassed that, creating 61 bracelets.

Along with sending out the paracord bracelets, the teens also took the time to script a handwritten letter of thanks to the person who will receive the care package.

The note reads "Dear Hero, We are from the community of Newtown, Connecticut. We greatly appreciate your dedication towards our country and the sacrifices that you have made. Your selfless acts hold a valuable meaning in our hearts.

"We want to support our brave heroes, so we came together to make quick deploy paracord bracelets. We hope that they will help you out and remind you that the community of Newtown, CT, has you in our thoughts and supports you. Thank you so much for everything you do.

"Sincerely, Aalia, Sofiya, and Aliya"

"Even if we don't hear back, we'll still know that we helped someone," Aliya said.

She hopes to continue making more quick deploy paracord bracelets with her sister and friend before the end of summer and encourages more people to do what they can to help those in need.

"I would tell others to go out and buy some paracord to make them and send them to troops," Aliya said. "They're pretty easy to make and you can learn how to do it through the internet. Anyone can do it."

Quick deploy paracord bracelets have a variety of functional uses that can help for survival. When unwound they reach 7½ feet in length and are made of sturdy 550 cord. (Bee Photo, Silber)
As of Monday, August 14, Aalia Haque and twin sisters Aliya and Sofiya Hafiz handmade 61 quick deploy paracord bracelets in a variety of neutral colors, which will be donated to members of the United States military. (Bee Photo, Silber)
Pictured from left are Sofiya Hafiz, Aalia Haque, and Aliya Hafiz, all 15 years old, who started making quick deploy paracord bracelets at the C.H. Booth Library in July to donate to Operation Gratitude, which is a nonprofit group that sends care packages to those who serve the United States. (photo courtesy of C.H. Booth)
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