USA –– COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – After the Waldo Canyon Fire started burning, a group of young professionals from southern Colorado wanted to help. The plan was to raise about $1,500 selling T-shirts online, but several weeks later, their efforts have turned into something no one expected.
Wildfire Tees has sold more than 24,000 shirts, and at $20 apiece, brought in nearly half a million dollars in sales. All of the profits are going to fire relief efforts.
“We’re all local business owners, and we’ve done some great things in the past,” said Sarah Derose, part of Wildfire Tees. “I can say on behalf of the team that we’ve never been more proud of anything we’ve ever done.”
On Thursday, the group gathered at the Pikes Peak Community Foundation to make its first donations. They presented checks for $66,000 to the Pikes Peak Red Cross and to Care and Share Food Bank.
“It’s fantastic and quite a surprise,” said Thomas Gonzalez with the Pikes Peak Red Cross. “I think this is one of the most creative fundraising ideas that I’ve seen.”
The team involved is from Magneti Marketing, Fixer Creative Co., CoPilot Creative, Design Rangers and LastLeaf Printing. They’ve come up with 16 unique t-shirt designs with logos like, “Out of the Ashes, We Will Rise,” and “More Disco, Less Inferno.”
Derose said all of the people involved with Wildfire Tees are donating their time, and after accounting for manufacturing and shipping costs, about half of the $20 T-shirt price goes to relief efforts. The group has enlisted the Pikes Peak Community Foundation to help manage funds.
Those involved said they couldn’t be prouder of what they’ve accomplished with the help of the community and everyone who has bought shirts.
“It’s the most amazing experience,” said Jenny Schell, with Wildfire Tees. “We’re so proud of the community and the designers that have done this. It’s really a life-changing experience.”
Wildfire Tees is hoping to reach the $500,000 mark by Monday. The next round of donations will go to the Colorado Fire Relief Fund 2012 and immediate local wildfire relief. To order a shirt click here.