‘It’s a conversation starter’ Two Northbrook friends sell peace bracelets after Uvalde, Texas shooting ‘A way to show support’

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Two Northbrook friends make peace bracelets to help neighbors in a community about 1,300 miles from Chicago’s North Shore.

Lindsey Tucker and Jennifer Silverman launched a line of hand-laced bracelets to support families who were victims of the mass shooting at the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school.

The bracelets are $30 with beads in either 24k gold or silver plating. A dangling heart charm is made from 18k gold and filled with your choice of black, white, pink or teal heart. Sales have exceeded 20 bracelets.

The goal of the bracelet collection is to “raise awareness,” Silverman said. “It’s a conversation starter.”

Tucker said bracelet sales extended beyond Northbrook to out of state.

“It’s not even about the bracelet, it’s not even about giving money to the victims’ families,” Tucker said, “Like what are they going to do with the money after they lose their child? But it’s just a way to show support.”

Silverman, a social worker at Niles North High School in Skokie, also designs jewelry and has a business with a social media presence. Silverman and husband Michael Silverman have two children Brooklyn, 6, an aspiring first grader, and Jonah, 4.

“School safety is definitely something I’m concerned about, I think there’s such a fine line between being vigilant and being vigilant,” Silverman said. “It’s a concern… a big concern.

“There needs to be more gun control.”

Tucker, a 2010 graduate of Glenbrook North High School, and husband Harris Tucker have a son Hudson, 1. The Tucker family’s puppy is Dunkin, 3, a female Morkie breed.

Tucker was a teacher for six years before founding a tutoring business and an online clothing store with virtual pop-up boutiques and events with in-person vendors.

Tucker began her teaching career in Wheeling and continued at Kildeer Countryside School District 96, where she taught special education at Long Grove Middle Schools.

Looking back on her teacher training: “We had active target practice.

“You alert, you cordon off, you let others know where you are in the building, you fight the person when they enter your classroom and then try to evacuate them if you can,” Tucker told the drill.

“They’re trying to kind of desensitize the teachers to dead bodies and gunshots and the sounds of gunshots, and in my head I’m like, ‘These aren’t things we should be desensitized to.'”

Tucker explained, “These are things no one should ever think about.

“That’s one of the reasons I gave up teaching was just for safety.”

Shortly after the Uvalde incident, Tucker and Silverman began collaborating on the Peace Bracelet fundraiser.

“Those poor kids,” Tucker said.

“Growing up,” Tucker said, “mental health wasn’t even really talked about that much. I think it’s much more socially acceptable today to talk about it openly than it used to be.

“As a teacher and as a mom,” Tucker added, “I would love to see it (awareness) as being more proactive with mental health.”

Nearly a decade ago, Tucker and another friend hosted an auction fundraiser to benefit the families of victims of the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, which left 28 dead and two injured.

“I did a slightly different kind of fundraiser (for Sandy Hook) where I went to the various businesses in Northbrook and asked them to donate something (like a gift certificate) and then people have it up the various articles commanded.” Tucker said. “And I took all the proceeds (about $3,000) and gave it to the funds that were given to the families of the victims.

“Unfortunately,” Tucker said, “we’re back.”

Here is the link to buy a peace bracelet. Shipping is at https://trendzbylindz.com/products/peace-fundraiser-bracelet

The Silverman and Tucker fund selected as the beneficiary of the Peace Bracelet sale is https://www.gofundme.com/f/mtdrdc-texas-elementary-school-shooting-victims-fund?fbclid=IwAR3e6dB4nqOAtGEFXnwInQieLiRJIUbOfXM0Ws8ezX0Q2skwzc4DKOTJvhk.

Silverman’s website is www.windycitydesignz.com and Instagram is @windycitydesignz. Tucker’s Instagram is @trendzbylindz and the website is https://trendzbylindz.com.

Karie Angell Luc is a freelancer for Pioneer Press.

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