Cousins raise funds for Oklahoma tornado victims

First cousins Carlee Chappell of Wilsonville and Emma Catanese of Chelsea hold their order notebooks for the bracelets they are selling to raise funds for Oklahoma tornado victims. (Photo by PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON/For the Reporter.)

First cousins Carlee Chappell of Wilsonville and Emma Catanese of Chelsea hold their order notebooks for the bracelets they are selling to raise funds for Oklahoma tornado victims. (Photo by PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON/For the Reporter.)

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON/For the Reporter

Cousins Carlee Chappell and Emma Catanese have a mission. They are selling bracelets to raise money for supplies to help victims of the deadly tornado that devastated parts of Oklahoma on May 20.

When Carlee, 11, and Emma, 9, heard about the Oklahoma storms, they knew they wanted to help. They decided on a fundraising project to raise $2,000 for the tornado victims.

They took all their money from their piggy banks and ordered 1,100 silicone bracelets with the inscription “Praying for Oklahoma” in different colors. The bracelets sell for $2 and all the proceeds will go to the American Red Cross and for needed supplies, including diapers, bottled water, gift cards and food.

Carlee is the daughter of Wendy and Rodney Chappell of Wilsonville and will enter the sixth grade in Columbiana Middle School this fall. Emma is the daughter of Brandi and Michael Catanese and will be a third grader at Chelsea Intermediate School.

This isn’t the cousins’ first experience with giving back. After Alabama’s tornado outbreak of 2011, the girls went with Emma’s father, Michael, to serve hot food to the victims and clean-up crews in Pleasant Grove. The food was donated by Michael’s restaurants: Courtyard Oyster Bar and Grills in Childersburg, Inverness and Alabaster.

“We are very sorry for the people of Oklahoma,” Carlee and Emma wrote in a written statement. “We are praying for them. We helped out in Pleasant Grove and we want to help them, too. How beautiful a day can be, when kindness touches it!”

The girls will sell the bracelets from 4-6 p.m. at the following locations: Columbiana Piggly Wiggly, Monday, June 24; Chelsea Winn Dixie, Tuesday, June 25; and Alabaster Target, Wednesday, June 26.

Bracelets may also be ordered by emailing Wchappell72@yahoo.com or through the cousins’ Facebook page, “Cousins Caring for Oklahoma. Donations with checks made payable to the American Red Cross can be mailed to Emma Catanese, 339 Grande Vista Circle, Chelsea, Ala. 35043.