Rubber cause and awareness bracelets are everywhere (like these ugly sweater silicone bracelets HERE).
Made of synthetic silicon rubber, they come in pretty much every color of the rainbow.
There used to be just one color… yellow.
Now there are thousands of colors and millions of patterns and designs.
So what are cause bracelets?
How did it all begin?
And more importantly, where did it all go wrong?
Let’s take a look…
The first, most popular, and most identifiable cause bracelet was the “LIVESTRONG” wristband (see picture – the word is just like it is shown. Regular font on LIVE and BOLD font for STRONG).
The LIVESTRONG bracelet is a bright yellow bracelet that stands for cancer awareness.
And it all began with one man…
(Lance Edward Gunderson is his real name)
Being one of the most famous athletes in the world, winning 7 Tour De France races (coming back from retirement and finishing third in 2009), Lance Armstrong is certainly a hero among men…
So it was extremely shocking when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996 (and the doping allegations as well that came later in his career). His battle for survival began.
The cancer quickly spread to his brain and lungs, but the athlete never gave up the fight.
Lance Armstrong eventually beat that cancer.
He’s an amazing athlete and an unbelievable survivor.
Today, he promotes his Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF), a non-profit charity organization in the quest to fight cancer.
The yellow rubber bracelets sell like crazy in stores, and all proceeds go directly to the foundation.
But the popularity of wearing rubber bracelets spread across the country. Everyone had to have one. Other foundations, support teams and causes came out with their own colors and messages. Now just about every single organization and charity has a color and a bracelet.
Here are some examples:
One of the most fascinating things about these cause bracelets are the colors…
The colors that some organizations choose does create quite an impact.
It also creates some crazy and scary visuals too.
(Maybe that’s the purpose?)
Colon cancer is a brown colored bracelet (see what I mean?)
Drowning is blue. Hurricane is blue. Water accidents are blue. I can understand those. Let’s move on…
Dark grey is for lead poisoning. Asthma is gray…
Cleft lips are hot pink.
STD’s are light green (Aren’t they all?)
Lyme disease is lime green.
Agent orange is, well, orange.
Red is hemophilia.
Red, white & blue stands for 9/11.
White is blindness (I wonder why they didn’t choose black?)
But black is actually for mourning.
And yellow is none other than bladder cancer.
See, colors make sense.
Some.. Others Don’t…
Purple for animal abuse? (maybe for purple bruises?)
Teal for rape? I don’t get the connection there…
Just about every known cause has a color and a bracelet.
I guess, as long as they keep raising money for their organization, and it’s working, then color doesn’t really matter. The cause does.
Other rubber bracelets:
But what about the “other” rubber bracelets?
Do you realize that these silicone bracelets are not just for charities anymore? Now, companies are making huge profits with these bracelets by putting anything and everything on them… words, phrases, names, dates, it just doesn’t end (but they do go great with the silicone rings).
Others have key rings, custom shapes, you name it. The list goes on and on.
Companies allow you to custom design your own bracelets as well.
“Go Cougars!” “Kiss me, I’m Irish!” “Feel Lucky” “Keep the Faith” “Merry Christmas” Anything and everything.
The lettering on these bracelets can be debossed (sunk into the bracelet), embossed (raised letters), printed, or even ink injected.
Companies are custom designing them as promotional items and gift give-a-ways. People are making their own bracelets for birthdays, graduations and anniversaries.
It all started good…
So what started out a great thing, is now treated as a passing fad.
People have lost the true meaning and purpose behind these bracelets. They were made to cause awareness and save lives. I’m all for it. I support LAF and I applaud Lance Armstrong for the hope and faith he brought to millions.
He truly is a survivor.
So if you buy a cause bracelet, please buy one for a charity that you believe in.
Support them. They need your donations, they need your help. Help keep faith alive.
Is a couple of bucks really too much to spend?
Especially if it touches your heart.
Besides, for most people, these bracelets not only touch their heart, but they touch their lives as well.
Maybe one day, we all can stand and “LIVESTRONG“.
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About the Author
Author Richard Scott. Certified Diamontologist and Gemologist. 30 years of experience.
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