Stringing Together Ridgewood

Samantha Cohen, Staff Writer

Towards the beginning of quarantine, I saw a new Instagram account had requested to follow me. I was curious and clicked on the profile and saw that a few of my friends had started a new project called Stringing Together Ridgewood. I scrolled through their feed and realized that they were making string bracelets to raise money to pay for the meals of healthcare workers, and quickly texted Lili Weissberg, one of the founders of the project, if I could help out. I figured that I might as well, given that I was probably going to be bored for the next few weeks. Little did I know that Stringing Together Ridgewood would quickly grow from receiving orders within the village to all the way in California. 

I started making string bracelets when I was about five or six, at my day camp. I learned the simple spiral staircase, chevron, and eventually, the double chevron. When I started attending sleep away camp, my bracelet knowledge continued to grow, and to this day, as a high school freshman, I’m learning more and more about techniques and how to read patterns. 

When I learned about Stringing Together Ridgewood, I was beyond excited to learn some new stitches and come back to an old hobby. I joined the group chat and was immediately welcomed by some friends. I was sent a spreadsheet with the orders to assign myself. When I completed my first order, I moved on to the next, and the next. As time went by, more and more people ordered bracelets, and our project was growing. At one point, we even had to ask people if they could join our team!

As a photographer, I also took pictures of the bracelets I had made, which I posted on Instagram every now and then. Some of my photos were even featured on some websites and blogs about our project. Our founders, Lili, Claire, and Jane, were interviewed by multiple news networks and we were even featured on CBS New York. Word spread around quickly about what we were trying to accomplish. 

One day, we achieved what we never imagined could happen. On April 23rd, we had raised $5000 in a little over a month. I couldn’t believe it. This project has taught me so much. Even though people say it all the time, I learned that it doesn’t take much to make a difference, and it’s easier when you are doing something that you love. I’ve learned how to communicate efficiently and effectively. I’ve gained an incredibly supportive team that I could not be more thankful for. I’m so lucky to be a part of something bigger than myself and to have helped healthcare workers doing simply what I love. 

If you would like to order a bracelet or make a donation, please go to our website or follow us on instagram @StringingTogetherRidgewood . Any amount is greatly appreciated!