LAURINBURG — The family of 4-month-old Charlie Oetzel, a victim of child abuse, are selling bracelets to spread awareness of child abuse and to help pay for Charlie’s medical and health expenses.
Each bracelet is blue, a color representing Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the words printed in bright red letters read, “Pray for Charlie” and “Stop Child Abuse.” They are going for $2 each.
“It makes you feel good to know that people still care,” Kristen Reville, Charlie’s second cousin, said, “and now this shows that the community can still come together whenever they need to.”
Charlie’s great-aunt, Barbara Paige, of Va., started selling the bracelets about a month ago. Several members of the family, inspired by her idea, joined the cause soon after.
“We knew we could have a lot of success doing it here as well,” said Reville. “It’s awareness for child abuse. We sold close to 500 bracelets and I had to order about 1,000 more.”
Reville added “because Charlie has a lot of bills, (his mother, Audrey Blades) is going to need help paying especially now that he’s home.”
Several members of the family have taken bracelets to their workplace to sell as well as local business such as Kimbrell’s furniture store and Rob’s Convenience in East Laurinburg — all to support Charlie.
A family friend, Stacey Evans, is planning Charlie’s Jamboree, a fundraising event, to further help the family. She plans to have several booths set up with face painting, crafts and jewelry and fun activities for participants to enjoy.
“(Evans) is still putting ideas together,” said Reville.
An event page has been set up on Facebook called “Charlie’s Jamboree” for the public to “like” and keep up with the planning process as well as any event changes.
For more information and or to purchase “Pray for Charlie” bracelets, call Reville at 910-318-0331.
Rachel McAuley can be reached at 910-276-2311, ext. 15. Follow her on Twitter @rachelmcauley1.