G&M’s Bracelet Shop: Helping The Unhoused One Bracelet at a Time

Gabby Hartsell and Mackenzie Weyer share a lot in common with kids their age. The pair of 9 year olds enjoy spending time with friends and coloring. Hartsell likes to play sports and Weyer likes to swim. They have been best friends since second grade at Garfield Elementary School. Hartsell has always enjoyed making bracelets and after teaching Weyer how to make them at a sleepover, the girls haven’t stopped. 

Bracelets with a purpose

They have added additional purpose to their bracelet making, other than just a fun way to express themselves; they are selling the bracelets to help those in need. These best friends have a keen eye for what is going on around them and they noticed an increase in the unhoused population in Toledo. As of March 2023, the Toledo Lucas County Homeless Board reported over 1600 people who are unhoused.

“We were just beginning to notice more and more people who were on the streets,” Hartsell said.

Hartsell and Weyer could opt to keep the money for themselves, but added, “We know that there are other people who don’t have as much as we do.” 

Gabby and Mackenzie handed out 75 Thanksgiving meals to those who are unhoused in Toledo.

They may be young, but the girls know that there’s no reason for anyone to go hungry. Hartsell shared that there is about 300 million pounds of food wasted every day, which, added Weyer, leads to billions of waste every year. According to Hunger in America, 44 million people face hunger. Children make up 20% of this group.

Let’s get down to business

So where do the profits go? About half of the profits go toward purchasing more supplies and the other half towards their monthly service project. For Thanksgiving, they cooked and served about 75 meals. After preparing the meals at home, they took them around town to hand out food to those living on the streets. The Tarta bus station downtown is often their destination, but they don’t hesitate to help those they see along the way. 

With the weather changing as we head into the New Year, the girls are purchasing blankets, hats, gloves and hygiene items to hand out. Diapers, toys, and children’s clothes are items they hope to donate as well. They are planning to feed 100 people for Christmas. G&M plan to continue their business even after the holidays are done.

G&M’s Bracelet Shop can be found on Facebook. This is the best way to know when they  do pop-up shops and what donations are needed. A link to their Amazon Wishlist can be found on their Facebook page. They accept donations of cash, items for the unhoused and bracelet making supplies.  At the time of this writing, G & M’s Bracelet Shop has received nearly $600 in donations in a matter of 4 weeks.

Donations can be made at the Gass & Express Mart on Starr Ave and White St or sent to Hartsell’s mom on Cashapp. 

G & M’s newest products are NFL sets to cheer on your team for the rest of the season. All teams and colors available.

The bracelets are made of plastic beads and can be custom ordered. They offer a wide variety of colors and charms to choose from. Their newest items are NFL bracelet sets that are sold for $6. Any team and their colors can be requested. Have something made for a loved one or friend. You are able to add charms, names or words to the bracelets. Single bracelets and earrings are $4.

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