As mothers, Christina Baribault Ortiz and Raeann Baribault Schwartz related to the pain and grief of the families, school, and community affected by the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, so the sisters and jewelry designers created a fundraising bracelet to help and increase awareness.
The founders of the Connecticut-based Power to B jewelry are donating 100% of the proceeds from the sale of its B Strong limited-edition bracelet to the Robb School Memorial Fund. The bracelet is crafted in maroon and gold cord, the school’s colors. The funds raised will go toward back-to-school programs, which include counseling for the Robb students, Ortiz and Schwartz say.
On May 24, 19 students and two adults were killed in a school shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde. The event shocked Americans for its violence, and the sisters say they wanted to do something to support the families there.
Both Ortiz and Schwartz have children, and they say their empathy for the community demanded some kind of response. Ortiz has two kids, ages 7 and 9, and Schwartz has three children, ages 1, 3, and 5.
“When this tragedy happened, it shook us, like everyone, to the core, and being moms and having kids in elementary school, it hit extremely close to home,” Ortiz says. “The emotions we felt, the empathy we felt for the families and the children and everyone involved was immense and took our breath away, and we cried and didn’t even know what to do or what to say. But knew we needed to do something, and not nothing, to support all of those connected to this wildly sad and tragic event.”
The design for the Robb School bracelet came out of a desire to make people feel “connected to supporting the families and people involved in the tragedy,” Ortiz says.
“Most of all, we wanted to connect people to feeling like they could do something during this hard time,” Ortiz says. “This was something we could inspire ourselves and others to do together and support.”
The Robb School bracelet, which sells for $68, is part of the brand’s overall power-word collections. These bracelets feature phrases such as “B Strong,” “B Fierce,” “B Limitless,” “B Fearless,” and “B You” in cursive on a colorful cord.
“We wish we could take the pain away from the world right now and know that is not reality,” Schwartz says. “Instead, we know we can contribute money with the sales of this bracelet to a fund that supports healing from this tragic event, including the benefits of wearing a power word bracelet.
“We believe positive affirmations and power words are what the world needs right now and especially surrounding this important fundraising effort,” Schwartz says. “The visual reminder of our power word bracelets, we have been told many many, many, many times by thousands of people, [allows] them to keep hope alive in hard times, put their best self forward, work through fears and anxieties, and continue to be strong for themselves and for others.”
The sisters, who are third-generation jewelers, created the line in 2019 to honor their infertility struggles and to create community around their clients, boosting their strength and resilience, Ortiz and Schwartz say. The Power to B collection of fine jewelry features rings, bracelets, and necklaces. Their goal is to sell one million pieces, impacting people through their positive mission, the sister say.
Top: Christina Baribault Ortiz and Raeann Baribault Schwartz created a limited-edition bracelet as part of their Power to B line to raise funds for the families and community in Uvalde, Texas, after the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School (photos courtesy of the Power to B).@jckmagazine
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