A Clovis man is using this ancient and natural symbol to foster support for gay and lesbian individuals here and around the world. He and his small but committed volunteer s are helping send that message her in the United States and across the world.
Like many with no brick and motor assembly line they gather around a large counter in the home of supporters to fill the hundreds of requests that arrive in the Rainbow Delegation email inbox. At the other end of the counter a growing pile of multi-colored wrist bands. They carry an information note on how to order and donate. They'll be dropped in a box to be sent to another group across the United States or to another country eager to put the message to work.
This home in Clovis is the headquarters of the 'Rainbow Delegation' offering a simple gift of support to people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.
Matthew Mazze founded the project in August of 2010, "It's obviously the worst business model in the world. No one anywhere is charged for anything. And anyone, anywhere in the world can get their wristband or wristbands shipped to them free!"
Mazzei came up with the rainbow bracelet as a silent show of support for those who feel alone or are unable to deal with the bullying they often face.
Tesla Arteaga wears her rainbow wrist band with good reason. A close friend with no acceptance or support at home chose to end her life, "She could have seen that our soccer team was supportive or just that we as friends were supportive. It's so simple but so loud." Arteaga now gives her time to the Rainbow Delegation preparing bracelets for shipping around the nation and the world.
Mazzei is grateful to have his eager and hard working volunteers. Their work, he says, is paying off, "At first it was just word of mouth, then e-mails from around the world began pouring in with support, funds and more requests to get their hands on these rainbow colored wrist bands. It's happening, its working people are stepping up, people are sponsoring, people are helping and it wouldn't be possible if they weren't."
Mazze told us to date some 60,000 bracelets have been sent to 60 countries around the globe, he answers every email and every letter, "What keeps us going and keeps me motivated are the people whose hearts are changing and the people whose minds are reconsidering and the lives that are being touched by this campaign."
It's pretty simple, wearing this signpost simply tags its wearer as one who accepts all people, unconditionally.