Local pharmacy manager Dane Allard said it was a combination of his father’s adoption and a bracelet fad a number of years ago that inspired him to create his own unique bracelet and donate a portion of the proceeds to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
Allard said the idea occurred to him a number of years ago when Silly Bandz became somewhat of a craze among school-age children.
“You would see kids wearing a hundred bands all at once, and they didn’t care about the shape, they just cared about the colors,” Allard said.
So, Allard, who now works as the pharmacy manager at Downtown Drug in Hillsboro, created KOPA Bands – a colorful two-piece bracelet that can be interchanged with others.
Allard said he hopes the bracelets create a similar social movement to Silly Bandz while promoting togetherness and concern for children who are in need of adoption.
“The whole idea is to bring people and organizations together, and in the process, help bring kids who need adopted together with their adoption families, which we call their ‘forever families,’” he said. “We design them so the two halves can separate and they’re interchangeable, and every single one we sell, we make a donation to the Dave Thomas Foundation.”
Allard said the cause is meaningful to him since his father and aunt were adopted.
“For somebody in my position, if my grandparents hadn’t done what they did for my dad, none of our family would be here,” he said. “Now that I have kids of my own, it kind of sinks in that if they hadn’t done this for my dad, we wouldn’t be here.”
Allard said “Kopa” means “together” in Latvian – a word that he said came from a Google Translate search when he was having trouble coming up with trademark names.
Allard said he visited the Dave Thomas Foundation this week to work out particulars on the donation process, and while he was there, he handed out bracelets to a number of children who had recently been adopted.
KOPA Bands can be bought for $10 at Downtown Drug and Holtfield Station, or ordered online at www.mykopa.com.
According to its website, the Dave Thomas Foundation awards grants to adoption organizations that connect children with families, raises funds to support awareness and education programs and provides free resources to professionals and prospective adoptive parents.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.