Palmer Trinity School senior Charlotte (Attie) Crews is president of a non-profit called One Change Bracelets.
Her sister Callie and two friends are the vice presidents. Their parents make up the advisory board.
The proceeds from bracelet sales are donated to melanoma research. The non-profit was created in honor of her mom, who had been diagnosed with melanoma. Today, her mom is doing well although she is still undergoing treatment. Bracelet sales have far exceeded expectations.
“We thought we’d make $100,” she says.
They’ve sold more than 9,000 and raised $90,000.
“We thought a bracelet would be something our friends would wear, and people our age,” she says. “We remembered the bead from a science class and we altered it to make it a different shape.”
Crews says they started with a few different designs and then they hit on the design they now use. The beads change color in the sun.
Her dermatologist loved the idea and started selling bracelets. They reached out to other dermatologists, some boutiques, and salons and they all started selling the bracelets. The bracelets are also sold in North Carolina, where her grandparents live.
“My grandmother likes to tell everyone about the bracelets,” she says. “We figured it would be a good place to sell them.”
It takes the girls 4-5 minutes to make a bracelet.
“We like to think you can wear them at any time. You can wear them in the water, the beach or to a dinner,” she says.
They are often asked if they plan on making necklaces as well as bracelets.
“We decided right now is to stick to the bracelets. The goal remains to see the bead change color to remind you to put on sunscreen,” she says. “And if it’s around your neck you are not as likely to see it unless you are looking at a mirror.”
The bracelet sales will continue even after Crews goes to college. Her sister wants to grow the business but Crews has no plans to stop showing and selling the bracelets until melanoma has a cure.
At Palmer Trinity, Crews is the vice president of the Student Alumni Association.
“My job is to help keep the alumni involved and continue to be part of the Palmer Trinity community,” she says. “And to help students connect with alumni.”
She’s also a member of the Second Chance Club, which raises money to help dog shelters.
She’s the Co-Chair of the St. Thomas Alumni 5-K committee and a member of the Hispanic National Honor Society.
Crews was named to the initial board for the Baptist Hospital Youth Advisory Council.
“They started it last year, a handpicked group of 15 of us,” she says.
The board worked with Baptist on the Dribble Drive event.
In 2019, she participated in a summer service trip to South Dakota with Simply Smiles.
“It was amazing. We went to the Cheyenne River Reservation,” she says. “We organized a day camp with them for a week.”
The week was eye-opening because the students saw the difficult conditions that the Native Americans face.
“It was interesting to see that most of the parents do not have jobs,” she says. “Their suicide rates are high for the children and adults. Drug and alcohol abuse is high.”
Since sixth grade, Crews played for both the softball and volleyball teams at Palmer Trinity.
She’s been accepted to Sewanee, Furman, Elon, Wofford, Stetson and Mercer. She’s waiting for a few more acceptances before deciding on a college where she’ll study business or marketing.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld