FLINT TWP. — Jim Stewart, of Flint, a Vietnam veteran, and Donnell Underwood, a sixth grader at Carman- Ainsworth’s Randels Elementary School met for the first time on Monday. They sat together at the table of brotherhood to make paracord survival bracelets as part of the 2015 MLK Jr. National Day of Service at Davenport University.
“I am glad to be part of it,” said Stewart, who regularly supports local veterans’ efforts.
Stewart and Underwood were among about 50 volunteers who filled tables in Davenport’s community room as they undertook the task of wrapping lengths of nylon cord around cardboard boxes being used as looms to braid the sturdy bracelets.
Survival bracelets have been used by military personnel and civilians in a variety of emergency situations. They can lift up to 550 pounds and, when unwoven, have been used for tourniquets, shoelaces, fishing line, splints and more.
Davenport’s volunteers aimed to make 400 bracelets during Monday’s event, said Wilma Mitchell, Davenport’s campus director.
Half of the bracelets will be donated to Operation Gratitude to be included in care packages sent to military veterans, new recruits wounded warriors and to individually named U.S. service members deployed overseas.
The rest of the bracelets will be distributed locally to first responders including police, fire and EMT departments, Mitchell said.
After the bracelet event, Davenport also planned to host MLK’s Moving Beyond Prejudice Movie Night, featuring the movie “The Last White Knight.”