Emily’s Bracelets has made two media appearances so far. Our whole family was interviewed by the wonderful Julie Bragg from CBS 6 News, and PJ was interviewed by local RVA radio host Jeff Katz on The Jeff Katz Show, Newsradio WRVA. We are extremely appreciative to both Jeff and Julie for what they have done for Emily’s Bracelets. Our entire goal is to spread awareness for Emily’s Bracelets, and to hopefully inspire others with our story. You can checkout both stories below.
From the CBS 6 Website:
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Emily Morrissey is finding her purpose one bracelet at a time.
She realized at a young age that she loves to string beads, and would spend days as a child lining up large beads on pipe cleaners. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy shortly after birth, Morrissey fell in love with beading when she discovered it during occupational therapy when she was only three or four years old.
Now, she’s a junior in high school, and she uses colorful plastic beads to create handmade bracelets.
"It makes me happy to make them for the people who need them,” Morrissey said.
She's now turned that passion into a business called Emily’s Bracelets, and it’s a family affair. Her mother, father and younger brother all work together to fulfill orders that she’s receiving from across the country, but each bracelet is handmade by Emily.
"All of us worked together to find something that utilized her skills, and her passion and the things that she loves, to turn it into something that she can do to feel productive and be a part of society," Emily’s mother Kristin said.
Her father Dan says it can be difficult for children like Emily to find their purpose.
“And it seems simple,” he said, “But bracelets, as she said, are a purpose that make her happy."
Emily plans to keep making and selling bracelets when she finishes high school. She is also donating a portion of her proceeds to her other passion, the Special Olympics. When she's not working on her business, she enjoys competing in bocce.
Her 16-year-old brother PJ now volunteers with the Special Olympics. He also walks Emily into school every day and plays a vital role in her business, building her website and handling all of the social media and customer service for Emily’s Bracelets.
"I like the sense of independence that it gives her,” PJ said. “And, it makes her proud when she sees people wearing the bracelets.”
PJ also wrote a book called “Different” that’s available on Amazon. In it, he shares his experiences growing up with a sibling who has special needs. He also shares advice for other siblings and for parents.
"PJ is the sibling that you hope your child with special needs will have. He`s a protector, he`s an advocate, he loves her beyond words," Kristen said.
Kristin and Dan say they couldn’t be more proud of both of their children.
From the Newsradio WRVA Website:
PJ Morrissey is a 16 year old Junior at Monacan High School. He reached out to share the story of his sister.
Emily was born in 1998, soon to be diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Many of her doctors and therapists told her parents that they didn’t think she’d be able to walk without assistive devices, or even do many daily tasks on her own. However, 20 years later she has proven them wrong. She can walk all by herself, make herself food, tie her own shoes (with the help of Snap Laces), and much more we never thought she’d be able to do. One thing that her occupational therapist had her do was string large beads onto strings and pipe cleaners to improve her fine motor skills. She’s done it ever since then, and has now made it her passion. Back in October she launched her very own bracelet website and company for her, where she can sell her creations. It’s called Emily’s Bracelets. If you go to https://emilysbracelets.com/, you can see all that she has created and currently sells. 25 cents from every bracelet sold is donated back to the Special Olympics, as a thank you for all that they have done for athletes like Emily and so many more.
He also wrote a book, entitled Different, about his life with a special needs sibling. It is available on Amazon here: Different https://www.amazon.com/dp/1542791553/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_p5F.BbBZWW30Y.