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'This will bring people together': Friendship bracelets support victims of Chiefs rally shooting

Friendship bracelets for shooting victims
Posted at 7:14 AM, Feb 20, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In the wake of last Wednesday’s shooting following the Chiefs Super Bowl rally in downtown Kansas City, several restaurants, businesses and communities are rallying around the idea of KC Strong.

You can already find the KC Strong message across Kansas City: from T-shirts, to artwork, to folding chairs outside Union Station. One small business is making friendship bracelets to capture this message.

Cara Cowsert co-owns Wind + Waves, an online bracelet business. She’s making red and yellow bracelets with a heart and selling them for $22.

Friendship bracelets for shooting victims

“$22 for the 22 victims that were hurt,” she said.

Cara will give all of that money to the families impacted by donating it to Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Friendship bracelets have become a symbol of unity across the country. Thanks to a popular Taylor Swift song, communities across the world started making and trading friendship bracelets for various stops along her Eras Tour. The craft grew. Cara has designed bracelets as a way to celebrate things like Super Bowl wins, and to show solidarity among tragedies like the Israel-Hamas war. She’s extending this movement to support the victims of the shooting.

“Something this little will bring so many people together,” she said.

But she’s also using these beads and strings to tie Kansas City together.

“You know I have kids, and just to think of all the kids that were traumatized just from going to a happy parade, it’s not fair,” Cara said. “If my bracelet can bring some happiness to people, I’ll do it and I’ll sit and make some forever.”

The orders alone show how Chiefs Kingdom has no borders. Cara has gotten orders from at least 36 states and five countries.

“I just want it to be something that connects them,” she said. “If there’s a connection to the city, a connection to the people.”

So friendship bracelets are now also becoming a symbol of keeping Kansas City strong.

Cara did pause bracelet orders just so she could catch up, because she has over 400 already. But she does have a potential KC Strong bracelet design in the works too. You can visit her online store if you’d like to order and support.