Parker Humes shows some of his hand-made bracelets.
In a society that worships capitalism and entrepreneurship, charity is often not thought of until well after a venture has gained steady profitability. In Carbon County, one young man is bucking that trend by rooting his new business in the spirit of giving and friendship.
Over the past few months, Parker Humes - and, because of demand, the rest of his family - have been making bracelets. More specifically, the group has been weaving survival paracord bands into both bracelets and necklaces and then selling the products to benefit several fund-raising endeavors at Castle Heights Elementary School.
Humes became interested in the bracelets after seeing his cousin with one and going online to find something similar.
"I pulled the stings out of a couple of hoodies I had and then tied that together with the clip from a bike helmet," he chuckled. "It turned out alright, it works. I started wearing it and my friends liked it. I still have it. My friend Connor makes them and he showed me where to get the cord when I decided to make them."
Humes began weaving the bracelets as a hobby, something for him and his friends to wear.
"I started seeing them everywhere, right after we started making them, especially online," he explained. "So when people kept asking me where I had got mine, I started telling them I could make one for them."
According to Humes, the survival aspect of the cord is a big draw for kids his age. Each bracelet contains between nine and 10 feet of 550 parachute cord which has a laundry list of applications in a survival situation.
"The whole thing started as something fun for them to do," said Parker's mother, Nicole Humes. "But then they found out about KateLynn's fundraiser."
Just last month, the Castle Country community had set up fund-raising activities to help KateLynn Sanderson and her family with the costs associated with a lifetime battle against severe heart disease and scoliosis.
"I thought that I could help by making some bracelets to sell, so about a week before the fundraiser we started making them to have at the fundraiser. We sold out so fast and then took a ton of back orders. I was hoping to raise like $100 and we ended up raising $1,050 for KateLynn and her family," he said.
At seven years old, KateLynn had endured 22 surgeries associated with her health issues. Following a recent procedure, her family was told that a transplant would be next. The Castle Heights fifth grader would not have to go through another surgery. She passed away just before the community fundraiser in March.
"After KateLynn's fundraiser, Moira Madrid, a teacher at the kid's school got involved with Brylee Olsen's fundraiser and she asked if Parker would sell the bracelets there as well," said Parker's mother.
Brylee Olson was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor (infiltrating brain stem glioma) on March 6. Her fundraiser event is being called "Brylee in 5," because her family is hoping that she is part of only five percent that benefit from treatment.
The event will take place April 12 from 5 to 10 p.m. in the USU Eastern Cosmetology Department. More information can be found by searching "Brylee in 5" on Facebook.
The project has become a whole family affair as Parker's brother Dax will be selling the bracelets at Brylee's fundraiser. Parker will be away on a scouting trip. All together, the Humes family and those they could enlist to help have created more than 300 of the hand-made bracelets and necklaces.
Parker's site is under construction but can be found at phparacord.blogspot.com.
"I don't know what's going to happen after Brylee's Fundraiser, I know I want to keep making them and selling them," he said. "But more than that, it's been cool to do it because it's helping someone else."