Fashion Statement

Two Groups Hope Hillites Will Wear Beliefs on Their Wrists

Posted April 27, 2005 at 3:42pm

The introduction of Lance Armstrong’s now-ubiquitous yellow “Livestrong” bracelet has changed the face of fundraising. Now, two groups have brought their own wristbands to Capitol Hill, hoping the craze will translate into dollars, and awareness, for their causes.

The Nation One Group, which runs USSoldier.org, in association with Operation Homefront, an organization that serves young families of deployed service members, has created a campaign to sell red wristbands inscribed with the words “One Nation.” Nation One hopes the popularity of wristbands will help raise $1 million for the families of currently deployed military.

To help get the word out, Armen Eloyan of Nation One and Operation Homefront sent “One Nation” wristbands to all Senators on April 9, the two-year anniversary of the fall of Baghdad. In a letter, Eloyan urged the Senators to keep the soldiers and their remarkable sacrifices in mind and to wear the wristband as a symbol of their continued support.

Eloyan did not know whether the wristbands were received or whether any Senators were wearing them.

Eloyan organized the wristband campaign as a way to show

gratitude to American troops for ensuring the rights of all people around the world. He admired the programs that Operation Homefront provided for military families in need, such as car repair, home repair and many other basic needs, and asked them to join his crusade.

“Just imagine a soldier in Iraq learning that his fellow citizens paid for the painting of his house back home. I am pretty sure he would keep his head a little higher, and his legs would hurt a little less,” Eloyan said.

The campaign has already netted more than $50,000 in three months and seeks to reach the $1 million goal within a year. All of the proceeds are used to support Operation Homefront programs.

The “One Nation” wristbands can be purchased for $2 each at www.ussoldier.org and at www.operationhomefront.net.

The Capital Area Food Bank has also joined in on the wristband trend with the introduction of an orange band inscribed with the words “Table Hunger.” The bracelets are being used to raise funds and promote awareness of hunger in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Wristbands “are really popular right now, and we felt it was a way to reach out to children,” said Kasandra Robinson, press representative for the food bank. “It’s the power of something fun and quirky to get a very important message out.”

In the Washington metropolitan area alone, there are 400,000 residents at risk of hunger and 100,000 of those are children, according to the food bank. The poverty rate for children in the D.C. area is 35.2 percent, the highest percentage in the nation.

“It is our hope that these hunger awareness bracelets resonate with youth and adults alike and that by purchasing one, they realize that they are helping the most needy in our community,” said Lynn Brantley, president and CEO of the food bank, in a statement.

“Table Hunger” wristbands can be purchased for $2 each at https://www.capitalareafood bank.org and at special events. Proceeds from the bracelets will be used to support the hunger and nutrition education efforts of the food bank.