By: Sharon Aron Baron
While residents in Parkland continue to cope with the tragic event on February 14, there are some who are committed to making sure that this will never happen again by pushing for school safety and stronger gun control. Others are out raising money to make sure the victims and their families are taken care of.
One group of neighbors is raising money by selling thousands of “Parkland Strong” bracelets all over the nation which, so far, has brought in $40,000. All 100 percent which will be donated to the victims’ GoFundMe.
Spearheaded by Parkland Golf & Country Club resident Stephanie Frankel, who was physically and emotionally in pain after the school shootings, she came up with an idea to buy 200 silicone bracelets to sell and raise money for the victims’ fund. She promoted “Parkland Strong” bracelets for $5 on Facebook and was completely sold out within minutes.
“At that point I realized that we could really do something,” said Frankel.
Frankel then established a GoFundMe campaign and asked for donations of $2,500 to purchase another 15,000 bracelets. Within 45 minutes, a neighbor called and asked her to stop by to pick up a check for the entire amount.
“At that point, I realized I needed help, and reached out to friends in the community who have banded together to promote this fundraiser.”
Frankel and 11 other Parkland Golf & Country Club neighbors built a website and Facebook page and are flooding the community with promotional materials advertising them.
She said that local businesses are also purchasing bracelets and selling them at their counters. The Miami Dolphins and Toll Brothers, the builder of her community, are among the national organizations.
Frankel said they will never completely recover from this, but it is comforting to know that as a community they are coming together and they are encouraged by the participation from people all over the country.
“We don’t see this letting up,” said Frankel. “The donations keep coming in. It all comes from a desire to do something. This horrible tragedy happened in our backyard and we are all affected by it.