Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016
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Local jewelers helping injured soldiers

Buyers troop in for bracelets

  • local-jewelers-helping-injured-soldiers-2

    The bracelets are modeled after survival bracelets worn by soldiers. They come with clasps, crystals, and diamonds among other styles

    <THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT
    Buy This Image

  • local-jewelers-helping-injured-soldiers

    David Fairclough of David Fairclough Fine Jewelers shows some bracelets that benefit severely injured soldiers and their families. The bracelets sell for $95 and $145; $20 of each sale goes to help the troops.

    <THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT
    Buy This Image

local-jewelers-helping-injured-soldiers

David Fairclough of David Fairclough Fine Jewelers shows some bracelets that benefit severely injured soldiers and their families. The bracelets sell for $95 and $145; $20 of each sale goes to help the troops.

THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT
Enlarge | Buy This Image

Two local jewelry stores are taking their support of the troops to the next level.

David Fairclough Fine Jewelers in Sylvania Township and Fixology Jewelry & Watch Repair at Westfield Franklin Park are selling From Soldier to Soldier bracelets that benefit Homes For Our Troops, an organization that helps severely injured veterans remodel or build homes that accommodate their needs.

Depending on the model, the bracelets retail for $95 and $145, and $20 from every sale goes to Homes For Our Troops.

"When people understand what it's supporting, the interest is really good," said David Fairclough, owner of the Central Avenue store that bears his name. "Most people have in common that they want to support our troops and veterans."

The bracelet is modeled after survival bracelets worn in the field by soldiers. Those bracelets are made of parachute cord and -- if needed -- can be unraveled and used for everything from fastening something together to makeshift tourniquets. The ones that are for sale are made of cord, sterling silver clasps, crystals, and diamonds, and the styles vary.

The idea to sell the bracelets as a novelty item began in Denmark with a former soldier and spread to the United States. Niels Christiansen is chief executive officer of LoveLinksAmerica, which produces the bracelets in Rhode Island, and he said he knew the idea would work in the United States.

The bracelets link the public to the men and women who have served the country, he said.

local-jewelers-helping-injured-soldiers-2

The bracelets are modeled after survival bracelets worn by soldiers. They come with clasps, crystals, and diamonds among other styles

THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT
Enlarge | Buy This Image

"Those are called survival bracelets and they are worn all over the place," Mr. Christiansen said. "Soldiers also exchange them as friendship bracelets. They also take them as symbolism -- the clasp would symbolize the uniform, and to some people, each knot symbolizes a fallen hero."

The interest in the Toledo area has been very strong, said Vicki Kaplan, a sales associate at David Fairclough Fine Jewelers. The store has sold about 60 of them.

"Everybody sees this as a way to give back to the military," she said. "The demographics [of the buyers] has been anybody from teenage boys, to women, and Father's Day was huge."

Theresa McGuire, a jeweler at the Fixology store, didn't have exact sales numbers but said the store has sold "quite a few" of the bracelets.

So far, the program has raised about $700,000 nationally for the organization, according to Carlo Gaita, program manager for the home award program for Homes For Our Troops.

The organization has partnered with LoveLinksAmerica for about a year and hopes it can build on the success it's seen, Mr. Gaita said.

"We try to put every dollar we get right into the program," he said.

For more information about the bracelets, visit www.fromsoldiertosoldier.org. For more information about Homes For Our Troops, visit www.homesforourtroops.org.

Contact Kris Turner at: kturner@theblade.com or 419-724-6103.

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