Thursday, August 14, 2003

In April, Jenessa, of White Bear Lake, Minn., made herself a bracelet in honor of Sgt. 1st Class Mike Chamorro, serving in Kirkuk. Her friends liked the idea and also had relatives deployed — an uncle here, a cousin there. So she made more bracelets.

The project “erupted like a volcano,” Jenessa said, and she’s sent out 36,987 bracelets. Her e-mail is jammed with orders for 20,000 more, many from troops serving in Iraq.

“Wow. That’s a lot. Let’s see, I started this in April and it’s taken me, April, May, June, July — 4½ months to make 36,000. It’s hard to say how long it’ll take to make 20,000 more, but we’re working hard.”

She has spent her summer vacation twisting and tying, beading and baking, folding and fretting — and sweet-talking her parents, two older brothers, one older sister and anyone else she can into helping out.

“She’s become our hero,” said mom Jennifer Largent. “It started out so small and we thought what a wonderful idea that she wanted to help a few kids and families. The longer it’s gone on, the bigger it’s gotten and she’s become more of a hero, and not just to us.”

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