Local printing company Ink to the People is collaborating with two students from Boston's Emerson College, Nicholas Reynolds and Chris Dobens, to sell t-shirts proclaiming "Boston Strong" in marathon colors. All proceeds from the shirts will go to victims of yesterday's bombing during the Boston Marathon.
While the students haven't found a charity that's solely dedicated to the victims, they're positive the $11,000 raised today will do some good.
"We are fully aware that we are not qualified to be
deciding how to divvy up the funds, and as a result, are waiting for a reliable
and legitimate charity to emerge for the victims of the Boston Marathon attack," Reynolds said in an email. (According to the Huffington Post, a host of charities have popped up with questionable legitimacy.)
"We want everyone to be aware that we are being extremely careful in choosing
where to send the now substantial funds."
Ink to the People, which agreed to print the shirts at no cost, is a screen-printing platform that allows anyone to submit a t-shirt design, set the price, and then set a goal number of t-shirts to sell. Usually, for a percentage of the cost, Ink to the People produces the shirts, processes the payments, and ships the inventory. But in this case, the company has waived that cost for Reynolds and Dobens because they believe in the cause.
"The 'Boston Strong' campaign is an example of how good people pull
together in tragedy to help others," the company's principals, Todd Richheimer and Jay Berman, said in a statement.
But at a time when an array of products are being offered in what seem like acts closer to opportunism than altruism, Reynolds says for his t-shirts, that's not the case. "We've watched a number of copy-cat t-shirts reading "Boston Strong" pop
up throughout the day with dubious promises," Reynolds says. "It is an unfortunate time we live in where
people respond to a tragedy with greed and selfishness."
As of this afternoon, the duo says they've sold 575 shirts. Reynolds says he hopes to reach their fundraising goal of $20,000 by next week.
Update: Reynolds says the charities that will be receiving the funds are donated to The One Fund, which was organized by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.