‘Pin money’ goes to ground zero food service

$5,000 RAISED


LT. COLONEL DON MOWERY accepts a check for $5,000 from Rachal and Sara Bowden.


When Rachal and Sara Bowden received American flag pins from their aunt in Ohio, they never dreamed it would launch a major fund-raising project.

The two Chandler, Ariz. teens, along with their mother, Dee Bowden, raised $5,000 to support The Salvation Army’s food service efforts at ground zero in New York by making and selling the distinctive pins.

“We thought 100 or 150 would be our goal,” Dee said. “But we blew by that. We blew by 500. Then we had 1,000. Next thing you know we had raised $5,000.”

The pins are made from red, white and blue beads strung together on safety pins to resemble an American flag. The girls and their mom sold the pins for $2 or $3 each at their school and local businesses.

The pins were an instant hit and began selling as fast as the Bowdens could make them. Eventually they were spending every spare moment making more.

“Mom would pick us up from school and she would be working on them in the car,” Sara said. “She would bring them everywhere – like our softball games – and work on them there too.”

Dee said the pin-making project continued to grow until it filled all the family’s free time for several months.

“My husband is very understanding,” Dee said.

To make each pin, approximately 100 beads were strung on 10 safety pins. The detailed work was meticulous and painstaking and the girls began to wear band-aids on their fingers, which they said had become “numb and raw” from stringing the tiny beads.

Still, when asked if they would do it over again, all three Bowdens enthusiastically agreed it was worth the effort.

“We would do it again in a heartbeat,” Dee Bowden said. “Our efforts were rewarded ten-fold. It just comes back in such greater amounts.”

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