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Henrico teen weaves kindness into bracelets while making a difference in her community

Posted at 1:52 PM, Jun 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 11:57:53-04

HENRICO COUNTY Va. -- Katie Hollister is making the most of three long months at home. The 14-year-old’s favorite pastime is making Friendship Bracelets.

"I love making them. It's really fun. It’s a nice break to be off social media," Katie said. “Each bracelet takes about a day to make."

Katie, who learned the skill when she was eight years old, continues to fine-tune her craft.

"They are popular," Katie said. "Everyone likes to rock a new friendship bracelet over the summer.”

But Katie’s friendship bracelets make more than a fashion statement. They are filling empty stomachs too.

“This bracelet is going to give someone breakfast tomorrow. That is just cool to think about to me," she said. “Once I started it, I was on a roll.”

The freshman at Maggie Walker High School is selling her bracelets between $3 and $8. Every penny of profit is donated to Feed More.

“From day one, I was just told to treat others with kindness. Just do whatever you can to show them you care," says Katie. “So when people look down and see the bracelet they’ll say, ‘I did that. I helped someone have lunch today’, you know?”

Between orders, donations and matching grants Katie has raised $3,000 and counting.

Parents Amy and Chris Hollister say their daughter is always putting other first.

“She just took it and ran with it and that is what Katie does," says Amy Hollister. “The response has been overwhelming even more that any of us could have hoped for.”

“She is always looking out for people. She always has your back," father Chris Hollister said.

While Katie is giving so much of her time and talents, she said she is the lucky one during her bracelet blitz.

“It's crazy that something can be so big and results be so enormous," Katie said.

The teen hopes she can be an inspiration to others.

“My advice would be when you start something, don’t wait, the present is the best time," she said.

Katie Hollister proving small acts of kindness go a long way. Weaving kindness and wrapping wrists with lots of love.

“Anyone can have an impact. It doesn’t matter if you’re 14 or 18 years old or 70 you can still help the community. So yes, it feels great.”

Greg McQuade features local heroes in a weekly “Heroes Among Us” segment. Watch Greg’s reports Thursdays on CBS News at 6 or here on WTVR.com. If you would like to nominate someone to be featured on “Heroes Among Us,” click here to email heroes@wtvr.com.

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