"I remember waking up and seeing all these terrible pictures… (Baltimore Sun photo by Gene…)
Makayla Gilliam-Price woke on Jan. 13 to see television images of the earthquake that had devastated Haiti the evening before, and the 11-year-old was overwhelmed by the pictures of destruction and suffering.
"I remember waking up and seeing all these terrible pictures and seeing people crying and screaming and thinking that if I were in the situation, I would want every single person in the world to help me, and I need them fast," said the Calvert School middle-schooler.
So she came up with the idea of making and selling beaded bracelets to raise money to send to the suffering people of Haiti. She enlisted the help of her mother and older sisters to make them and her extended family to sell them, and she is a little more than $100 short of her $1,000 goal.
"We've been through tons of beads and tons of string," said Makayla, who is getting help from her mom, Zelda, and her sisters Ashley, 23, Brittany, 22, and Ariel, 20.
"After my homework is done, we go downstairs and make them. It is really pretty good for the family. We can get together and talk about our day," she said.
The bracelets sell for $5, but some generous donors give Makayla or her "salesmen" $20 and tell them to keep the change. She's sold about 200 bracelets, she estimates.
"It started as a service project for Martin Luther King Day," said Makayla, who lives in the Original Northwood section of Baltimore. "Then the earthquake hit, and we saw the devastation."
After her mother did some research, Makayla decided to contribute the money from the bracelet sales to UNICEF. What does she hope it will buy?
"I saw this really effective water-purifying packet," she said. "It costs 50 cents, and it can filter a whole gallon of water. But I just hope the money goes toward the kids.
"I see them without parents, and I want them to have a comforting feeling inside of them that they know people are thinking about them, and they know one day it will be all right."
This isn't the first fundraiser for Makayla. Her mother reports that she organized a car wash to raise money for Johns Hopkins Children's Hospital and a book signing to raise money for the Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital.
"It is so exciting to see everyone walking around with their bracelets on because it's a reminder that Haiti needs our help," she said.
If you would like to purchase a bracelet or contribute to Makayla's efforts, send an e-mail to email@example.com