Columbus retailer Homage has raised more than $36,000 for the American Red Cross through a t-shirt campaign.
From March 15 through Aug. 31, Homage is selling a special collection of shirts with 20 percent of each sale going to the organization’s general fund. The shirts have an uplifting design reading “We are Ohioans, we are Buckeyes, we are strong” based on a statement Gov. Mike DeWine said during a press conference at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mark Jaworski, senior marketing manager for Homage, explained why the shop created the collection.
“We wanted to give back, so we reached out to the Red Cross to support a critical organization in a time of need. Blood drives were being cancelled and the nation was experiencing a blood shortage, and so it was really an opportunity to do two things that are critical for us: telling stories and giving back,” he said.
In March, the Red Cross reported a severe blood shortage after nearly 2,700 blood drives nationwide were canceled because of COVID-19, leading to a loss of 86,000 donations. Eighty percent of the organizations’ blood donations are collected from community blood drives.
The Red Cross publicized the need for more blood drives and blood donors, and the supply has recently stabilized. Blood drives are being scheduled at hospitals, libraries and other places where safety measures such as temperature checks and social distancing can be implemented.
Cory Paul, executive director of the Greater Columbus Chapter of the Red Cross, praised Homage’s support of the nonprofit.
“Homage has been a wonderful partner to work with,” he said. “They’ve made it simple on both sides.”
Since its founding in 2007, Homage has been active in creating theme t-shirts to support causes. Jaworski said recent events made it imperative to help the Red Cross.
“The pandemic in general has seemingly put a strain across the entire healthcare system, a system that needs to be able to help people now more than ever,” he said. “In some ways, our small contributions are a thank-you message for those striving to keep Ohioans and Americans healthy.” ~Jessica J. Burchard –Red Cross volunteer
To order your “We are Ohioans” t-shirt from Homage, please visit https://www.homage.com.