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Rockford man selling bracelets to support frontline workers

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — Austin Nelson has always called Rockford home.

The 40-year-old Forest City native wanted to do something for his community, particularly the people who still report to work everyday during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The result was designing bracelets to give to the people of Rockford.

Dawning a simple message.

I support frontline workers.

"It was on my conscience to sell these for anybody that has a job or supports the front line workers," Austin Nelson said.

Austin made 100 bracelets to sell, raising money for Rockford Mass Transit District.

Multiple RMTD workers have tested positive for COVID-19 and Austin used to take the bus a lot which makes him feel more connected to the cause.

"I feel blessed. I feel happy to think of others besides myself. To help them and know what they are going through," Austin said

To anyone close to Austin, this type of behavior is not out of the ordinary.

His family describes him as a outgoing, sensitive guy who cares about people and wants to do anything he can to help.

"It's given him something to look forward to day in and day out. Something for him to focus on," Austin's brother Tyler Nelson said.

"It's been beneficial for him as well as for everybody he is trying to help out."

Everyone Austin has talked to about the bracelets has been nothing but supportive.

However, nothing trumps how Austin feels just knowing he is doing what he can to help others.

"I want to help the people in need. I want to help out by selling these bracelets, by supporting the front line workers and to help out our community," Austin said.

Austin has also created a Facebook page for his cause, which can learn more about by clicking here.

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Evan Leake

Evan Leake anchors for 13 News Today and 13 News at Noon. Evan grew up in Darien, Illinois, a south-west suburb of Chicago. He came to WREX in 2017 and worked his way to the anchor desk in May of 2019. He coordinates both the Teacher of the Week and Inspiring 815 series for 13 News. You can connect with Evan at or Evan Leake on Facebook.

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