The Hand Sanitizer Hero

April 24, 2020

Brooklynn Gross, 21, is a student at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She hopes to become a high school English teacher so she can share her passion for reading and writing with teens in her community.

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(Courtesy of Braxton’s Bubble Company)

As people across the country stay home from work and school, they find new activities to fill their extra time.

Ten-year-old Braxton Saxer has been spending his time making hand sanitizer for people in his community. Braxton, a fourth-grader from Brandon, South Dakota, runs Braxton’s Bubble Company, a business specializing in bath bombs and soap. He learned that some people in his community do not have resources to stay healthy during the pandemic, so he decided to make bottles of hand sanitizer and donate them to people in need.

“I just wanted to help the less fortunate,” Braxton said. 

So far, Braxton has made 60 bottles of hand sanitizer, and he plans to make more batches in the future. He uses a mixture of aloe vera, isopropyl alcohol, and essential oils to make the hand sanitizer. 

“We already had a batch in stock, so we just made more,” Braxton said. Braxton’s business will not be selling any sanitizer; every bottle is donated to individuals who face homelessness.

Jerry Cook, Braxton’s business mentor, donated some initial funds to help Braxton order materials to make the hand sanitizer.

“I’m a huge fan of Braxton’s,” Jerry said. “He’s a community leader.”

Other people from the community have also made donations. So far, Braxton’s fundraising has raised almost $2,000.

“I want people to know that we’re thankful for all the donations,” Braxton said.

Ordering supplies to make the hand sanitizer is one of Braxton’s biggest challenges. The ingredients are in high demand, so they are difficult to find. Fortunately, he was able to order a shipment so he can make more batches.

Braxton and Jerry are working with the Helpline Center, an organization that helps coordinate community volunteers. They are also working with the COVID-19 task force at the Emergency Operations Center to make plans for distributing the bottles to individuals across Sioux Falls and other parts of the state.

For the community of Sioux Falls, Braxton’s hand sanitizers are arriving just in time. A meatpacking plant in Sioux Falls is now one of the state’s biggest coronavirus hot spots. The number of cases continues to rise, and many workers are now facing financial insecurity after the plant’s closure.

Braxton knows that kindness is essential at this time. To Braxton, the word “kindness” means thinking about other people’s needs before one’s own. 

“Everybody has the potential to be kind if they want to,” Jerry said. “We could use a lot more kindness in this world. Being kind is pretty cool.”

Braxton believes children have the power to create a positive impact in their communities.

“Kids can do different things for the community,” Braxton said. “The littlest job can mean a whole lot.”

You can help Braxton purchase more hand sanitizer supplies by making a donation here.

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