Remember summers as a kid spent making friendship bracelets with lanyard or string? Now, imagine if you decided to to sell those bracelets for a good cause—and ended up making more than $90,000. That’s what happened to nine-year-old Kamryn Johnson and five of her friends. “Kamryn & Friends: Bracelets For Unity & Justice” have donated the proceeds from their bracelet-making business to help black-owned businesses and food banks in Minneapolis affected by the pandemic and protests.
“I was really sad,” Kamryn said. “I wanted to help.”
Kamryn, whose dad is is former NFL player Ron Johnson, is the leader of the group. According to Johnson, his daughter “has a huge heart and simply wanted to be of help in whatever way she could. She and her friends are finding ways to feed the families of Minneapolis and give back to their community in the way they know how.”
When you look at Minneapolis, there is a huge racial gap in basically every aspect of life,” Johnson added. “It’s not equal. We want to be there for black businesses, especially those that don’t have insurance agents to help them out, to let them know they have people that will protect and fight for them.”
When the kids first came up with the idea, Johnson said he didn’t expect them to make thousands of dollars. But after news of their business spread, people across the country began donating to their cause. Now, the industrious kids are donating funds from their bracelet sales to Minneapolis’ Sanctuary Covenant Church’s food drive and the Kyle Rudolph food and supply drive.
“Day after day, we’re having impactful conversations with so many people. So many of our community members have come by to drop off supplies, or just talk about things like racism and injustice, stuff that we don’t talk about very often,” Johnson said.
“We want to stay in the fight. We don’t plan on giving a bit and then walking away and going about our day. We’re fighting for our community and it’s not going to end any time soon. This is a fight for racial equality and an end to police brutality. It’s something we still need to talk about.”