A University of Mississippi freshman is selling handmade bracelets to raise money for a friend who was paralyzed after her vehicle was hit by a drunk driver.
“A friend I worked with during the previous summer was in a terrible accident due to a drunk driver,” said freshmen Ashley Mills, who creates bracelets as a fundraiser. “They [my friend and her fiancé] were driving back from the camp we had been working at when they were hit from behind.”
While the fiance is now okay, Mills’ friend suffered life-altering injuries. “She [my friend] was paralyzed from the waist down,” said Mills. “This has caused her to need a very expensive electric wheelchair that she cannot afford. I decided to make and sell these bracelets to contribute what I could to help her raise money,” Mills said.
What started as an act of kindness quickly turned into a business opportunity. “I honestly did not really have any idea about who I should even be selling the bracelets to at first,” said Mills.
This quickly changed after students moved into their dorms and learned why Mills was selling the bracelets. “After being on campus for a couple days, I knew that the students here were perfect, since it would appeal to so many of them,” Mills said. “Every little penny counts.”
Mills was not sure what kind of reaction she would get when she conceived the idea, but soon, she had received many messages from girls saying they wanted to help her, and many purchased the bracelets.
“It was so cool to see how much support I got from everybody because the money is going to such a personal cause,” Mills said.
Student Gracie Guenther bought one of the bracelets. “I mainly bought the bracelet after hearing about what had happened to her friend from multiple girls in my dorm,” she said.
Like many of the freshman girls living in Crosby Hall and other dorms, Guenther was moved by Mills’ effort to help her friend.
“I think it is a really selfless effort on her part to make bracelets for her friend while she is going through this really tough time,” Guenther said. “It feels so good to be a part of something that is bigger than you. And in college, that is something that I really wanted to take part in and experience for myself.”
Mills said he goal now is to raise enough money to help her friend purchase necessary medical equipment.
“She is still renting a wheelchair for the time being, and I would love to be able to help her get to the point where she owns her wheelchair,” Mills said.