As goers, 12-year-old Emma Vickers and 13-year-old Elena Tate of Lawrenceville did everything best friends do together: They went to the beach, celebrated Christmas at Stone Mountain, and simply just hung out.
"She's known me ever since I was in my mom's stomach, so I've practically grown up with her," said Emma. "She's my big sister."
When Elena was diagnosed with leukemia in April 2009, Emma decided to help out. She had a lemonade stand at the Whistle Stop Farmers' Market in 2009 in order to raise money for cancer research and children's healthcare.
After months of chemotherapy, Elena was declared cancer-free in August 2011. But in February this year, her leukemia came back. She's currently receiving chemotherapy, been having to do more inpatient treament and plans to have a bone marrow transplant by July.
To help her friend this time around, Emma started making and selling Elena's Prayer Bracelets, purple-and-clear beaded wristlets (with one-word charms "joy" "hope" or "love") with all proceeds going to CURE Childhood Cancer, a charity that donates 88 percent of its funds to cancer research and families with cancer-stricken children.
"Beading is something she enjoys doing, and it's something she felt is a way that she could help out," said Emma's mother, Stacee Vickers, whose family is close with the Tates.
Elena's Prayer Bracelets have grown from word of mouth through their church and Facebook, so they decided to have a booth at this June's artist market at the Whistle Stop Farmers' Market.
Even though they ask for a $4 donation for each bracelet, many people came up to the booth Tuesday and handed them much more.
"We had many people give us $20 and say, 'Keep the change,'" said Stacee.
The Vickers along with Elena's friend Morgan Latham raised $200 alone at the artist market, bringing their total raised funds to almost $400.
Because of their success, Stacee said they hope to come back to the artist market to raise more funds for CURE. Emma said she also doesn't plan on stopping her bracelets cause anytime soon, regardless of what happens.
After her donation to CURE, she plans to raise funds for more causes such as the Make a Wish Foundation and various hospitals, particularly the one Elena goes for treatment.
For more information or to purchase a bracelet and donate to Elena's Prayer Bracelets, contact Emma and Stacee Vickers at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, check out the Elena's Prayer Bracelets page at emmarosevickers.blogspot.com.