Tucked at the far west end of Main Street during Safety Harbor's recent 3rd Friday festivities was the All Tied Up Bowtique booth, manned by three teenagers who were selling handmade decorative bows.
The kids - twins Annelise and Micheal Vieira, who attend Dunedin Highland Middle School, and friend Ronnie Riccobene - weren't trying to raise money for a dance, a trip or even their back to school wardrobes.
No, these eighth-graders were selling their brightly colored hair bows, flower clips and headbands for charity, hoping to raise $500 for a UNICEF water filtration project.
"We started making the bows this summer while we were attending a St. Pete College for Kids camp at Curlew Creek Elementary School," Riccobene, who attends Palm Harbor Middle School, explained. "We made $160.00 and donated it to a Rotary program to help end polio."
"Then we decided we wanted to keep doing it when we got out of camp."
What began as a summer school project turned into a desire to keep helping a cause, much to the delight of the Vieira twins' mom, Linda.
"It was completely their idea to do this," she proudly stated. "They've worked so hard at it, and they've done everything themselves. We're thrilled at their determination."
The kids' newest cause is a water pump project being funded by UNICEF. The pump will help provide clean, safe drinking water for children and their families in third-world nations.
Linda and the kids estimate they've made 300-400 bows so far this summer. The prices ranges from $2.00 - $3.00 each, and they might start producing pet bows, which have been requested from patrons.
So what would make a trio of teenagers spend a bulk of their summer vacation making bows and collecting money for charity?
"It's something we're passionate about," Annelise Vieira said. "And we like doing it."
To help support the cause, or to find out where the kids will be selling their bows next, email the teens at email@example.com.