For nine-year-old Leah Salmon, making bracelets in support of the Canadian Cancer Society was a labour of love. The Grade 5 St. Marie of the Incarnation student started her business during the pandemic in memory of her late grandfather.
“I have had many people close to me that have fought cancer, said Salmon. “My Papa passed away in 2020 when he was 63 and my Mere (grandmother) passed away when she was 48. I love them both very much.”
In an effort to keep their memories alive and help others battling the disease, Salmon began making bracelets out of Rainbow Loom (little rubber bands) in July 2021. Each bracelet took about 10 to 20 minutes to make, depending on the kind of bracelet and the size.
“I sold my bracelets to friends and family and to people in the community," she said. “My mom posted my business on her social media pages and told people about it at her work and they all supported me. I am very grateful for the support.”
Leah sold each bracelet for $2 and said everyone was very generous and donated more.
“For every order, I put the bracelets in a special bag with a thank-you sticker,” she said.
Although busy with school and dance classes, Salmon finished every order by December 2022, selling a total of 235 bracelets and raising $1,227 for the Canadian Cancer Society.
“I felt really good after I did this,” she said. “I am glad that people loved the bracelets I made…It made me really happy when they would send me pictures of them wearing them.”
Salmon made the donation online to the Canadian Cancer Society’s Holiday Donation Campaign on Jan. 13, 2023. A day her mother Lisa Salmon said is extra special.
“(It) would have been her Mere's 66th birthday," explained Lisa. “Leah never got to meet her Mere as she passed away 18 years ago, but she holds her very close to her heart and we talk about her often.”
Lisa describes her daughter as a very strong and passionate person, saying she is very dedicated to everything she puts her mind to and gives it everything she has.
“Her strong personality and determination are admirable,” said Lisa. “I am very proud of Leah. She is an inspiration to me.”
Lisa said the Canadian Cancer Society was very thankful for the donation and called Leah to tell her that she should be proud.
As for Leah, she’s already planning her next business so she can make another donation.
“I have been thinking of new ideas… I am thinking about a sticker business,” she said.
When asked by BradfordToday what her message is to others who are looking to make a difference, she had these encouraging words.
“Always believe in your dreams and goals and never give up.”