When something like this happens, trying to put what you’re feeling in to words seems pretty useless. Reading a harrowing personal account (like this) from a survivor this morning, you get a glimpse of what these people are actually going through – but it doesn’t make it any easier – if anything, it just made me feel like we, as a company, still aren’t doing enough.
Doing the normal things like listing a new t-shirt on special, bringing out a St. Patrick’s Day t-shirt range, making reports – all seem wrong. Sure, we made some t-shirts for the volunteers yesterday, and it was really cool to hear them personally saying how much it meant to them, but there must be more that we can do. And we want to.
The obvious solution would be to make a Christchurch t-shirt and donate profits to Christchurch through an organisation. The other, perhaps more obvious attachment with that, is what happened last timeand the opinions people formed of our motives and intentions. I’m not going to re-hash over what’s been and gone on – because it quite frankly doesn’t seem all that important at this juncture. We realise that if we were to release a t-shirt this time round there will always be people that would deem it purely a PR exercise or an act of money hungry ‘vultures’ (as one NZ t-shirt company so nicely put it). I guess the underlying question is; do the opinions of these few prevent us from raising potentially thousands of dollars in assisting with aid and relief in Christchurch? Remember, we wouldn't be making anything off these tees, ALL pprofits would go be offered.
Seeing how much people want to help, through twitter, facebook, and conversations with family and friends – we’re convinced we can raise in excess of $150,000 for Christchurch. That’s what we’ve got in mind, and that’s what we’re aiming for, at least.
But nothing’s that simple, and before making any rash decisions, we figured we’d ask you all. We’ve had a lot of requests – ever since the last earthquake on Sept 4, 2010 really – and even more so since Tuesdays’ tragedy, to make a t-shirt and donate proceeds to Christchurch. These people, like us, don’t wish to capitalise on another’s misfortune – they simply want to help. We’d be donating ALL of the profits of these t-shirts to an as yet undecided Christchurch organisation; we wouldn’t make a single cent off these t-shirts, we wouldn’t release any other t-shirts during this time – in essence all operations would stop so we could fully focus on raising as much as we possibly could for Christchurch. This isn’t about publicity, it isn’t about controversy – it’s about helping, and it’s about pitching in the best way we can. All we know is the t-shirt.
We’re ridiculously proud to see the way this country has responded; it really makes you proud to be a New Zealander – we just want to help a little bit more. Having said that, the last thing we want to do is so ruthlessly aim to raise money that we, in the process, offend those that are most directly involved – those in Christchurch. This has to be our main concern; it is after all those in Christchurch that we’re trying to help. I suppose it wouldn’t really matter if we raised $200,000 but offended even one Christchurch resident that suffered through this traumatic event.
So we want to know what you think, do we do a t-shirt? We’re thinking about selling the tees for $50 – at the end of the day, it’s all going to Christchurch, so we didn’t think anyone would complain. We also want to know which charity/organisation you think we should be donating to (if we do the t-shirt of course).
If not, what else can we do? we’re more than open to any and all ideas – after all, this isn’t about a t-shirt, it’s about helping.