It takes about an hour for Amanda Hautmann to make a braided string bracelet, but she hopes that the end product creates a smile that lasts much longer.
Hautmann and her friend Sydney Wilson have been using their spare time to make bracelets and plan to donate them to sick children and others in need of a pick-me-up.
The "Hope Bracelets," as Hautmann calls them, come in a variety of colors and are usually delivered with a message designed to cheer up the recipient.
Recently, Hautmann sent 40 bracelets to children at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee. She hopes to soon make deliveries to local hospitals including Anne Arundel Medical Center and Johns Hopkins.
"I really just like to see the smiles on peoples faces," she said. "That's the main thing."
Hautmann, a senior at Arundel High School, began making the bracelets for those impacted by Superstorm Sandy. It was over Thanksgiving when she realized they could be used to cheer up sick children.
She enlisted the help of Wilson, a junior at Arundel, and the pair launched a Facebook page. There, the students collect requests for bracelets and offer messages of support. They are also encouraging people to post photos of their bracelets once they receive them.
Hautmann and Wilson now have made more than 100 bracelets. Eventually, the pair would like to also use the Facebook page as a way to raise money for relevant charities, such as the American Cancer Society.
To find out more about the Hope Bracelets or to submit a request, go to www.facebook.com/hopebracelets2012