On Tuesday, Feb. 4, William Paterson students came together to make paracord bracelets, a useful survival item, for deployed troops. All bracelets made were sent to the organization Operation Gratitude, which sends over 30,000 care packages every year to those who serve our country.
A few of the many uses of a paracord bracelets include making slings, splints for their arms, tourniquets to stop bleeding, making a security strap to reach and haul heavy objects, and creating a harness to extract an injured person from a bad location. The material that is used to make this type of bracelet is a 550 cord, which got its name because it can hold up to a maximum of 550 pounds.
The packages sent by Operation Gratitude include items such as snacks, black crew-length socks, puzzle books, baby wipes and more, including the paracord survival bracelets. Although these bracelets look similar to other ordinary bracelets, they save the lives of troops.
The process of making the bracelet involves cutting and sealing the cord with flame, making sure the ends are sealed, before wrapping the cord to make the bracelet.
The turnout of students was bigger than expected by the Campus Activities, Service and Leadership committee, and the event ended up running out of the supplies for the cords quickly. Since it was a big turnout, they plan to hold more events in the near future in order to create more paracord bracelets.
The bracelet design makes the cord easily accessible in a time of need. “It is an easy material to have on their hand and helps them be more organized rather them having 7 ½ feet of cord just stuffed in their bag that could easily knot up in the moment of need,” said Jackeline Reyes, the event coordinator and a graduate intern for Civic Engagement in campus activities and leadership. “They have it on their wrist and can just take a knife and cut it at any moment.”
There are other styles to this bracelet. However, the quick deploy style is the most time-efficient. It can be easily pulled apart within 30 seconds in the case of an emergency, compared to the alternative cobra design that can take two to five minutes to unravel.
Reyes says this is the second semester that they are doing the civic engagement paracord event and this was the first one of the semester.
“Constantly, our Civic Engagement team is always looking for new outlets and new organizations to work and partner with,” said Reyes. “Because we try to reach as many individuals as we can so we do a really good job of serving our local communities, we thought why not see if we can spread out? This is an initiative that helps people overseas globally.”
Operation Gratitude accepts donations and care packages all year long. More information can be found at operationgratitude.com.