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Teens Sell Hair Bows to Build Third World Water Pumps

A trio of 13-year-olds are making decorative bows in hopes of collecting $500 for UNICEF.

Twins Annelise and Micheal Viera, Dunedin Highland Middle School students, and friend Ronnie Riccobene — weren't trying to raise money for a dance, a trip or even their back to school wardrobes at Safety Harbor's latest 3rd Friday event.

No, the eighth-graders were selling their brightly-colored hair bows, flower clips and headbands at their All Tied Up Bowtique with the goal of raising $500 for a UNICEF water filtration project.

"We started making the bows this summer while we were attending a St. Pete College for Kids camp at Curlew Creek Elementary School," Riccobene explained. "We made $160 and donated it to a Rotary program to help end polio."

"Then we decided we wanted to keep doing it when we got out of camp."

What began as a summer school project turned into a desire to keep helping a cause, much to the delight of the Viera twins' mom Linda.

"It was completely their idea to do this," she proudly stated. "They've worked so hard at it, and they've done everything themselves. We're thrilled at their determination."

The teens' newest cause is a water pump project being funded by UNICEF. The pump will help provide clean, safe drinking water for children and their families in Third World countries.

Linda and the girls estimate they've made 300 to 400 bows so far this summer. The prices ranges from $2 to $3 each, and they might start producing pet bows, which have been requested from patrons.

So what would make a trio of teenagers spend a bulk of their summer vacation making bows and collecting money for charity?

"It's something we're passionate about," Annelise Viera said. "And we like doing it."

To help support the cause, or to find out where the girls will be selling their bows next, email alltiedupbowtique2012@gmail.com.

Maureen September 03, 2012 at 04:27 PM
You are doing a great thing! Poor sanitation and lack of clean water is a major source of illness in many countries. At my church, the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, we are also working toward helping people in Central America get a well and access to clean water. It is one of the items to alleviate human suffering in the Gifts for Life Catalog from Episcopal Relief & Development. Largely with a Low Country Shrimp Boil Dinner, we have raised over $3,000 toward a $5,000 project.
All Tied Up Bowtique September 18, 2012 at 09:26 PM
That's great! Are you working with Charity:Water?
Maureen September 19, 2012 at 02:22 PM
We are working with Episcopal Relief & Development. This website will take you to more information about our recipients. http://www.er-d.org/GiftsForLife/4/131/ This site even has a short video that I believe you will find helps further your resolve to continue with your project. It is always heartwarming to find young people like yourselves who are aware of the people who have so little, and are doing something to help them. When we do not reach out to others, we are, in effect, building walls. I wish you and everyone, enough...
All Tied Up Bowtique March 10, 2013 at 07:18 PM
That's excellent to hear! We wish you the best for your project! Thank you so much for your support and encouragement.

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