Barrington girl ‘looming’ for love

Barrington's Mia Leroux demonstrates how to make a rainbow loom "fishtail" bracelet recently. Mia recently started a charity called Looms for Love. Barrington's Mia Leroux demonstrates how to make a rainbow loom "fishtail" bracelet recently. Mia recently started a charity called Looms for Love.

Barrington's Mia Leroux demonstrates how to make a rainbow loom "fishtail" bracelet recently. Mia recently started a charity called Looms for Love.

Barrington’s Mia Leroux demonstrates how to make a rainbow loom “fishtail” bracelet recently. Mia recently started a charity called Looms for Love.

They’re small. They’re colorful. And they’re made of rubber. Oh, and they’re also at the center of a new charitable cause started by an eight-year-old Barrington girl.

Mia Leroux began making rainbow loom bracelets about a month ago and recently created Looms for Love, a charitable organization that helps kids spread joy through crafting and donating rainbow loom bracelets.

The idea came to her a few weeks back during a visit to see her grandfather. While she was talking to him, Mia decided to offer him one of her bracelets. He gladly accepted, and then asked her for another. Before long her bracelets were the talk of Orchard View Manor, the nursing home where her grandfather lives.

“Yeah, I’m excited,” Mia said last week, adding that she has enjoyed meeting new people through the charity.

Her idea for Looms for Love has grown quickly. With a little bit of help from her parents, Mia has been able to recruit loomers from all across New England and beyond and earlier this month enlisted the help of about 80 classmates at Nayatt School. On Friday, Oct. 4, students in the multi-age collaborative helped Mia weave dozens of new bracelets.

Earlier in the week, Mia’s father had built some small looms out of plastic blocks and thumbtacks. The rigs were perfect for weaving the “fishtail” type of bracelet. In about 45 minutes time, the group of students churned out one bracelet after another.

“One boy made six,” Mia said.

Mia Leroux (right) helps another student weave a rainbow loom bracelet recently.

Mia Leroux (right) helps another student weave a rainbow loom bracelet recently.

The energetic third-grader said she’s excited about her project, Looms for Love, which already has its own website (www.loomsforlove.org — “Don’t forget the org. It won’t work without the org,” she said.)

She plans to take the donated bracelets and give them to people in old folks homes and kids in hospitals. She’s also collecting rainbow loom kits that she wants to donate to seniors and sick kids. She said her grandfather’s nursing home already has an activity room for crafting, and that weaving rubber band bracelets is something sick kids could do from their hospital beds.

Tracy Leroux can’t help but melt a bit when she hears her daughter talk about the good deeds.

“I don’t know where she gets it,” Ms. Leroux said. “I’m so proud.”

Ms. Leroux said that the project has done more than just give people bracelets or supply a craft for some folks to fill their time.

“What we’ve noticed in the short time we have been doing this is, the kids feel empowered — like their efforts matter. Like they matter,” Ms. Leroux wrote in a recent e-mail.

She said Looms for Love has a platform — “kids crafting for a cause” and “the power of giving to help others.” Ms. Leroux said the charity’s focus is not on the bracelets themselves by good that comes from the bracelets.

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