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Violet Timmins made bracelets to sell, donating the proceeds to help Ukrainian refugees

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Posted at 5:00 AM, Apr 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 07:49:31-04

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. — The images coming out of Ukraine are heartbreaking to see.

At the borders there are families, mostly women and children, coming over with nothing more than the clothes on their backs, trying to escape the destruction of war in their home country.

Thousands of miles away, in Howard County, 12-year-old Violet Timmins saw the pictures of those families and felt compelled to act.

"I decided, well what can I do to help them? I knew I could make bracelets because I’ve been doing it for awhile just for fun so I thought, well maybe I could make bracelets to help the Ukrainians."

Timmins recruited her younger sister and a few friends to assemble the bracelets, using the colors of the Ukraine flag of blue and yellow.

"I’m happy that she asked me to help because I really enjoyed being able to help those people too," said 12-year-old Teagan Cunningham.

"I liked making those bracelets and I was like well, we’d be helping people too, so I was like sure," said 10-year-old Teagan Dishon.

Together, they made close to 200 bracelets. Timmins sold them for $2 each, but many of her customers believed her handmade act of kindness was worth much more.

"A lot of people would say I want one bracelet for $20. I was like that’s a lot for a bracelet but [it was] extra donations."

HOW TO HELP: Links to where you can donate to help the people of Ukraine

With those generous donations, Timmins raised more than $1,200 and is donating the money to the non-profit CARE and its Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Fund. It is providing shelter, food, and hygiene kits to refugees of Ukraine, as well as cash assistance and psychological care.

Friends and family of Timmins say they're not at all surprised that she wanted to help the people of Ukraine.

"She’s the kind of person that would do anything to help anyone and she’s that kind of friend to me," said Cunningham.

"I think that’s very nice and polite and helpful of her," said her sister, 11-year-old Lucy Timmins.

"I think its a good idea and it helps people," said 9-year-old Finn Adams, who helped make the bracelets.

Now when Timmins sees the families crossing the border from Ukraine, she'll know she played a role in providing them a little relief, in what remains a very chaotic and unpredictable time.

"It makes me feel really happy that I’m helping people because I always like helping people, but this feels like I’m really helping people just because I know where all the money is going."