This 10-year-old from Riverhead is making bracelets to help end breast cancer


It’s a familiar summer scene: young children perched at the end of their driveways selling lemonade, hoping to earn enough money to buy a new Barbie or Xbox game.

As summer ends, so do the sales — but one Riverhead girl has taken the idea to the next level.

Rather than sell some drinks for her own benefit, 10-year-old Kayla Reitz began selling rubber-band bracelets in front of her home earlier this month.

All proceeds will go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and, more specifically, two women close to Kayla’s heart.

“My aunt has breast cancer and my friend’s mom has had cancer,” she said. “So [selling bracelets] just kind of sounded like a good idea to me.”

Kayla spent about three days making 50 bracelets to sell to family, friends and strangers. She offered eight different styles of jewelry, each ranging from $2 to $10. Her sales totaled $212.

In order to bring attention to her stand, Kayla created handmade fliers and put one in every mailbox in the neighborhood, her mother, Shannon, said. Ms. Reitz also posted about her daughter’s efforts on her personal Facebook page.

And the mother-daughter duo didn’t stop there.

They also created a donation page on the National Breast Cancer Foundation website in hopes of raising $1,000 by Nov. 1. As of Tuesday afternoon, the donations totaled $709.

“It feels great to have people that care about breast cancer,” Kayla said. 

Something that helped push Kayla’s campaign along was an anonymous donation of $300, an act of kindness that left her mother in tears.

“I was very taken aback and I was very surprised at the amount of output that a 10-year-old can generate,” Ms. Reitz said. “It’s been a very humbling experience with all of the support she’s gotten from our friends and family and people that we don’t even know stopping and supporting her.”

Although Kayla’s campaign comes to a close at the end of the month, her desire to help others isn’t going anywhere. Come November, she’ll start working on bracelets to sell this time next year in the hopes of raising even more money for breast cancer research.

With more time to prepare, Kayla plans to expand her offerings to include string, duct tape and rubber-band bracelets.

“It’s been a really great experience and I’m really proud of her,” Ms. Reitz said.

Want to help Kayla reach her goal? Donate to her campaign at

[email protected]

Photo Credit: Courtesy