You’re never too young to lend a hand to those in need, and for 10-year-old Payton Loucks, donating to local charities and organizations is his way of “making a difference one knot at a time.”
For the past two years, Payton has donated to a charity of his choice almost monthly by taking orders for, creating and selling hundreds of paracord bracelets. While Payton keeps half of the proceeds so he can restock his supplies for the next wave of donations, the other half goes to a local charity or organization.
“It’s basically just to help other organizations, and it looks really cool on your wrist,” Payton said.
The goal is to pick a new charity or organization each month, but sometimes due to slow sales, Payton raises the money over the course of multiple months.
In past months he has given $167 to the Kingman Cancer Care Unit, $100 to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Foundation, and more than $350 to the Kingman Area Food Bank.
A paracord bracelet isn’t just for show, it has numerous practical uses as well. Payton said they can be used for almost anything, specifically noting how the bracelets can be utilized while camping or hiking to hang up supplies, mark trails and as emergency rope.
He also takes orders. Want a paracord bracelet with a beloved sports team’s colors? Get in touch with Payton at email@example.com. How about a survival paracord bracelet complete with a compass and fire starter? He can do that, too. Is the whole family decked out with bracelets thanks to Payton’s Paracord, but the dog is feeling left out? That’s right, he makes dog collars and leashes as well.
Bracelet prices range anywhere from $4 to $10 depending on the order. Payton can knock out some orders in a matter of minutes, while other, more intricate designs and knots can take up to a couple of hours. He said properly executing the knots is one of the more difficult aspects of his work.
“I have to watch the video a couple times to figure out how to do it,” Payton said.
Aside from helping local charities and organizations, Payton’s efforts also provide him the opportunity to get some behind-the-scenes looks at the places to which he donates. He’s learned more about the Kingman Cancer Care Unit and the work they do, and also got a tour and rundown of the Kingman Area Food Bank.
“You know, it’s rewarding,” said Onilee, Payton’s mom. “You can have a 10-year-old that just wants to keep all the money, but he just kept enough to buy more supplies and make more. For him to give it away, it’s pretty amazing.”
For Payton, the two most rewarding aspects of the work he does is seeing the finished product upon completion, and the actual act of donating the money he’s collected.
Even with his busy schedule that includes school and baseball, and taking into account his family is in the process of building a new home, 10-year-old Payton still finds the time to make his bracelets.
And he has a tip for those with busy schedules who believe they’re unable to volunteer in their community due to time constraints.
“If you have something you need to do, don’t wait until the last minute to do it,” he said.