HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The classic fictional book “The Outsiders” about impoverished teens and child abuse made an impression on Kamryn Ayano and her eighth-grade classmates.
"There's actually a huge amount of people, children, getting abused every day," she said.
Kamryn and classmates Karis Sensano and Kohana Thai go to Niu Valley Middle School. They decided to try to help prevent child abuse by selling handmade beaded bracelets.
It went over bigger than they imagined.
"I didn't expect that we would get as much support from everyone that bought from us, and I didn't expect that we would be making 120 bracelets for this project," Karis said.
Sales of their simple creations to family, friends and total strangers raised more than $300 that they presented to Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii.
"To have young people like this think about the community and think about our keiki is amazing to me," said Chet Adessa, vice president of the non-profit's board of directors.
The teenagers sacrificed after-school hours and spare time to work on their multi-colored bracelets that were made-to-order, some with Teddy Bear charms.
English teacher Maya Sullivan assigned the project and they ran with it.
“I think what makes me so proud is that they really took on the assignment and made it their own, and took it beyond the boundaries of our campus,” she said.
The project was a leap of faith.
“We sold about 120. At first we thought we weren’t going to sell any,” Kamryn said.
"I enjoy making bracelets and it was fun making them and supporting people," Kohana said.
Now they're doing it again.
Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii asked the girls to make 100 more bracelets that the non-profit will sell to raise more money.