7-year-old's bracelet making raises $20,000 for hospital pandemic gear

(CNN)Hayley Orlinsky wanted to raise $200 for Chicago's Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's hospital by making colorful rubber band bracelets.

A few months and more than 8,000 bracelets later, Hayley, 7, has raised more than $20,000, helping the hospital purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) and support research efforts.
The Chicago second grader began the project with an apparent knack for entrepreneurship -- she sold the most cookies in her Girl Scout troop last year -- and a desire to spread kindness in response to bullies who made fun of her height.
"When I was 3 years old, I got bullied for being the shortest kid in the class, and my mom wrote a book about it, and it was my moment I knew I wanted to spread kindness everywhere," Hayley said.
When asked whether she understands what a significant financial contribution she's made to her hometown hospital, she smiled.
"It's definitely more than the tooth fairy gives!" she said.
Hayley's mom, author Lori Orlinsky, says what started as an after-school hobby quickly became a sensation.
Hayley has now sold bracelets to customers as far as Italy, as well as to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the Chicago White Sox and Miguel Cervantes, who played the lead role in Chicago's production of "Hamilton."
Shortly after Lightfoot posted about the bracelets, the Chicago flag colors became Hayley's most in-demand bracelet design.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot wears one of Hayley's creations.