A group of North Shore ten-year-olds are advancing cancer research and care at Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center by selling rainbow loom bracelets and chocolate lollipops.

A group of North Shore ten-year-olds are doing their part to support the fight against cancer, one rainbow loom bracelet and chocolate lollipop at a time.

JMJK Enterprises making rainbow loom bracelets
JMJK Enterprises making rainbow loom bracelets

Moved by their family and friends’ experiences with cancer, Josh Comito, Marissa Eisen, Mallory Rubin, Joseph Tanger, Max Schecter and Kolya Gerasev came up with a unique way to raise money for cancer research: They would sell rainbow loom bracelets and donate the proceeds to the Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center. The group, also known as JMJK Enterprises, recently raised $1,300 to support the North Shore Cancer Center – showing that in the fight against cancer, everyday efforts can have a powerful impact.

Crafting Hope with Bracelets

What had started out as a fun activity with friends turned into something more once the group elected to sell the bracelets to support cancer research and care.

“I wanted to earn a lot of money to give to the North Shore Cancer Center,” says Josh Comito. “We’ve all had friends and family who have had cancer, and it makes me feel good to help.”

“We decided to donate the proceeds because cancer is a terrible thing and there are people who need help,” says Kolya Gerasev. “My uncle had cancer when he was the same age as me, but he is okay now because people knew how to help him.”

To raise money to purchase rainbow loom materials, the group pooled their allowances and took on extra chores around their homes. They then got to work designing and assembling the colorful bracelets, working on their project at home and during recess at school.

Once JMJK Enterprises had made enough rainbow loom bracelets, they coordinated with their local schools and community centers to sell the colorful crafts. They set up a table at the North Shore Community Jewish Center, and raised money by selling bracelets to their friends and members of the community.

The group sold rainbow loom bracelets at the North Shore Jewish Community Center
The group sold rainbow loom bracelets at the North Shore Jewish Community Center

Fighting Cancer Close to Home

Because the group wanted their donation to have an impact on their local community, they decided to donate the money they raised to the Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center, where their support has had an immediate effect on the Center’s research, wellness services and support programs.

“I wanted to earn a lot of money to give to the North Shore Cancer Center,” says Josh Comito. “We’ve all had friends and family who have had cancer, and it makes me feel good to help.”

Last March, the group presented their donation to Joel Schwartz, MD, FACS, director of Oncology Service and James McIntyre, MD, the chief of Radiation Oncology at Mass General/North Shore in Danvers. JMJK Enterprises promised the doctors that they would continue fundraising  to support the fight against cancer.

Chocolate for a Cure

JMJK continued their fundraising efforts by making and selling chocolate cancer awareness ribbon lollipops
JMJK continued their fundraising efforts by making and selling chocolate cancer awareness ribbon lollipops

JMJK Enterprises revamped their fundraising efforts in 2014 with a fresh new idea – they would make and sell chocolate lollipops shaped like cancer awareness ribbons. To prepare, the group researched different types of cancer and the corresponding colors of cancer awareness ribbons. They then set to work making different color chocolate ribbon lollipops. This winter, the group staffed a table at a local community event in Peabody, where they collected donations and sold hundreds of lollipops and raffle tickets – helping them raise $1,000 to donate to the Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center.

“I think all kids should do things like this. It’s fun to hang out with friends, and you’ve helped the world change,” says Joseph Tanger.

The Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center works closely with Massachusetts General Hospital and North Shore Medical Center to provide the highest quality of care to our patients. To learn more about cancer services and programs at MGH and our affiliates, or to support Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center, please contact us.