Shop sells bracelets that benefit disabled vets

September 24, 2011 3:24:33 PM PDT
A north suburban accessories store has become part of a nationwide campaign to help disabled veterans.

Located in a small shopping center on Dundee Road in Northbrook, Splurge offers a wide range of gifts, decor and these survival bracelets created by From Soldier to Solder.

"They are an artist's rendering of an actual bracelet that the soldiers make and wear in the field. They are made from parachute cord and they are knotted and each knot they say represents a fallen soldier," said Splurge owner Rhonda Phillips.

Phillips said she found the bracelets at a trade show.

"There were 60 new sailors who had just came out of boot camp and were saying goodbye to their families. The boys were crying, the girls were crying the moms and dads were crying and it really put a face to these soldiers for us. And when we were shopping for gifts for the store, we always look for something that really excites us, and after three days of shopping we really found nothing and on the last day we show these bracelets and just felt that is was karma," Phillips said.

"Twenty-five dollars from the sale of each bracelet goes to Homes for Our Troops and they build handicap accessible homes for the disabled veterans, and after seeing these boys leaving their families, we really were excited about doing something to support them, giving the community an opportunity to support troops as well," Phillips said.

Homes for Our Troops was founded by a man who's life changed after watching the Sept. 11 attacks.

"They realized that there was a real need to supply homes for these disabled veterans and their families so that they could live a free and productive life," Phillips said.

These bracelets have only been sold at Splurge for a few weeks.

"There is a camouflage that represents the uniform, a sand color that represents where the soldiers are fighting and then they do come in black and navy blue and fashion colors and they are really considered a fashion statement with a conscience," Phillips said.

"The bracelets sell for $95 and then there is a special edition that has a diamond and that is $145," Phillips said. "And we have had a tremendous response from the community and we are hoping to extend out of the community to the surrounding Chicagoland area to support these soldiers."

The bracelets sold at Splurge are a reminder of survival friendship and commitment.

"I wear one every day and what I like is that it really reminds me every day of what these soldiers our doing for us. It's a constant reminder not just seeing it on the news so it makes me feel a little more personally involved," Phillips said.

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