Charity Bandz founder, Wilson PattonAt 17 years old, not only did Wilson Patton found a new, clever fundraising vehicle for charity, he also drove attention to the cause by breaking a Guinness World Record.

Standing on a balance board for nearly two hours, the teen’s sweat and pain were more than worth it. Using his gymnast background, Patton  persevered on behalf of his Charity Bandz non-profit organization and the people it ultimately serves.

His soon to be 501c3 charity has transformed the teen fad of trading and collecting bracelets called Silly Bandz into a significant moneymaker for the World Vision Foundation, American Red Cross and animal conservation programs.

Patton and his team of volunteers have already sold more than 15,000 of the stretchy bracelets to raise $10,000 in just three months. When taken off, the silicone bracelets snap into fun shapes representing each charity, including crosses, AIDS ribbons, “clean” water drops and different animals.

“In coming up with this idea, I had, for some time, felt a sort of call from God, a tug on my heart, to do more,” said the honor roll student and gymnast. “I needed to help the poor, the homeless, the helpless, and I felt compelled to do it in a big way. One night over the summer a little ‘light bulb’ lit up above my head, and, from there, Charity Bandz ballooned.”

Bracelets can be purchased online at and in retail outlets run by the charities that benefit. Charity Bandz is currently looking for other retailers to sell the products and expand the group’s reach.

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