Every summer for our camps in Rwanda, we design T-Shirts and give them to all of our kids (this year will be over 170!) and to our fabulous volunteers, who help to run our camps! But this year we wanted to do something a little different. We wanted to give a little-known design program the opportunity to let their students shine … with Hope Shines! We are all about finding unique ways for people to give, and love it when those who do give, no matter the value, are able to get something back…like winning a design contest!
Our official 2011 Camp T-Shirt was designed by an Apparel Design Student at Virginia Polytechnic and State University, a.k.a., Virginia Tech. Our Executive Director, April, went to Va Tech (She says, “Go Hokies!”) and graduated from this same program. Since then, she has kept in touch with her profs. She reached out to them recently with the idea to run a contest among the current students to design our 2011 T-Shirt. April felt this contest would help to give a talented Va Tech student some exposure and a resume builder for their career aspirations. Most importantly, she felt that it is important for people to feel that they can give even if their means are limited. Who wasn’t on a shoe-string budget in college? Ramen Noodle Soup, anyone? Lending talents towards a cause is extremely meaningful!
April worked with Peggy Q., in the Va Tech Apparel Design Dept, who spearheaded the whole contest and got the students excited about the project. April and Peggy set up the perimeters, specifications and expectations and the students ran with it! The submissions were amazing!
April asked her local NYC Fashion/Design/Buying contacts to judge the contest. The judges included a GVP from Macys, the CEO and Founder of Bluma Project (www.blumaproject.com), a Sr. Designer for Aeropostle (also a Va Tech Grad!) and a Historical Costume Consultant for Hollywood who is also a Textile Installations Expert for Museum Exhibitions. It was quite a panel of judges…and their decision was unanimous!
With her design submission she also wrote the following:
We are so very honored to have someone like Julia supporting us. Congratulations to Julia! And a BIG thank you to all of the students who participated.
HOW FABULOUS IS HER DESIGN?! SO FABULOUS! She came up with the slogan “love grows where hope shines.” All of the judges felt that she captured the essence of our grassroots org in those 5 simple, yet powerful, words.
As we said in the beginning of this post, we supply these T-Shirts for all of our kids in Rwanda…with donations we pay for the production and the shipping to Rwanda. If you would like to donate $15.00, we will send you a T-Shirt (!) and you will know you paid for the 1 child to have a new, clean garment to wear. You are helping to offset the cost we incur for making these shirts! In many cases, this will be an imperative addition to the child’s limited supply of clothes.
We owe a HUGE thank you to Coney Island Beach Shop for producing all of our T-Shirt. We are grateful for your partnership!