The process of finding a non-profit to invest is hard. It’s more work that it should be, but it’s important to know what you’re putting time, money and heart into.
Give a Shirt has been around for a year and a half now and it’s has been growing since the beginning. It was started by youth group student, Whitney Ferrin, from Salem Alliance. She saw that her peers were not going to school because they didn’t have clothes to wear. She saw a need. Her idea: make t-shirts. The idea is a simple. They sell t-shirts and to make money to clothe and keep homeless students in school. The dream began.
I like this, but I still needed to know some information. My first question: Where does the money go? The average t-shirt is $15. For every t-shirt $10 goes toward the homeless student, the rest is the cost of making the shirt. That is their promise. I liked this. The money raised goes toward shopping days at Old Navy. Each student is given money to get clothes in the store.
I sat down with Scott Cornthwaite, the social media and PR director for I Give a Shirt, to gain a better understanding of the organization. He began to explain how he wants this organization to grow and help many students without interfering with its core—the students.
“The margins we create, help those in the margins,” explained Cornthwaite.
This guy is passionate. He wants to make a difference and he already has. It was encouraging to hear about his desire for the organization to make a bigger impact on the community but keep the focus.
The thing I really like about Give a Shirt is their pursuit of change. This change is not a simple one-time experience. They want to change the lives’ of the students whom they help. They want to give them more than clothes, but an opportunity to have a fresh start. Give Hope*Restore Dignity.
I decided to get involved with this movement because it helped my immediate community. A lot of the time we reach beyond our borders to make change. Getting involved with Give a Shirt makes it possible to be a part of change every day.
A simple was to volunteer time is by working at a booth, like I did. Booths are set up at different events or schools to sell t-shirts and help raise awareness about what Give a Shirt is doing. Whether it is for an hour or 7, you are making a difference. Another opportunity is volunteering to help on the shopping days.
It’s a simple concept. I have to wear clothes. Instead of representing big brands, why not invest in the community through what I wear?
This is an honest non-profit with integrity and passion.
I give a shirt.