When confronted with disasters such as the recent earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant crises in Japan, it's natural to want to help. But many people don't know what they can do. As individuals, their ability to contribute financially to relief efforts is often limited.
Yet if many people pool their efforts, their contributions can be significantly larger. That's where silicone wristbands can be a significant help to many worthy causes. They multiply contributions to create a bigger positive effect.
The Japan tragedy is a good example. Pop singer Lady Gaga announced a custom wristband design soon after the earthquake and tsunami. Selling for $5 each, the silicone wristbands imprinted with "We pray for Japan" in both English and Japanese raised $250,000 for relief efforts just in the first 48 hours.
Such is the fundraising power of silicone wristbands. The key to their fundraising prowess is that they are inexpensive to produce. It's likely that Lady Gaga's silicone wristbands cost only pennies to make. Yet they sold at a price that was low enough to allow almost anyone who wanted to help to buy one. Because the cost of production was so low, the dollars for the relief effort added up fast.
Admittedly, sales of Lady Gaga's silicone wristbands were boosted in part not just by the desire to help Japan, but also by her celebrity status. Yet even non-celebrities find silicone wristbands a remarkably fast way to raise enough money to make a significant contribution to worthy causes.
One Ohio school district sold silicone wristbands for only $1 each last year and quickly raised some $5,000 for Haiti earthquake relief. Students, parents, faculty and staff all contributed, and wore their silicone wristbands with the message "Help Haiti Heal" to show their support for the ravaged country.
A key element of the success of silicone wristbands is their widespread acceptance throughout the world. Since the introduction of the iconic yellow wristband to support cancer research and awareness in 2004, the simple debossed silicone wristbands have become a near-universal way of supporting a cause.
The Livestrong band introduced by professional cyclist Lance Armstrong and sponsor Nike swept the globe as a fashion fad and became the template for many other silicone wristbands of other colors. Organizations quickly adopted wristband colors to represent their own causes, and before long, silicone wristbands became a standard fundraising method.
Another benefit to silicone wristbands is that they help foster a sense of solidarity among wearers with the cause they support. They bring people from all corners of the globe together in support of a common good.
Following Lady Gaga's lead, many wristband suppliers have introduced silicone wristbands with a theme of helping Japan recover. Many suppliers of silicone wristbands are sending a portion of their proceeds from the sale of those wristbands to Japan relief efforts.
No, silicone wristbands alone won't be enough to rebuild Japan, but they can make a contribution to international efforts. With the help of many from around the world, Japan will rebuild its damaged cities and towns and help its citizens regain their shattered lives. In whatever way we can, that effort is worth supporting.
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