Being a Canvas For Good During the Pandemic

August 18, 2020

SanMar was very proud to launch A Canvas for Good last year. The initiative comes from the idea that our t-shirts are more than just t-shirts. They are canvases our customers use to make positive changes, build support for positive causes, shape teams, unite communities and build relationships.

Through responsible practices, our product is seen as a global investment in our employees and their families. “A Canvas for Good” comes from our company’s Mission Statement:

  • Serve with care and integrity
  • Positively impact lives
  • Inspire pride and belonging

For the past year, we have shared stories about how our customers and our own supply chain have used promotional apparel for good initiatives. Those stories, found on the blog for A Canvas for Good, are inspiring and show the power of a t-shirt. This year there are many stories that show how shirts made all of the difference during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are just a few of those exceptional stories.

Lifting Healthcare Workers Spirits in Texas

Stephen Terrell started Print Works by himself in his dining room in 2011. Now his business has grown from one employee to more than 30 with multiple locations in two states.

When COVID-19 first hit his community, Terrell saw firsthand just how truly essential the medical workers were and the impact they made by saving lives. His Print Works team in Paris, TX decided they wanted to do whatever they could to try and lift the spirits of the medical workers. They designed and gave out uplifting shirts with a thank you note to help boost morale during such an unprecedented time.

Paris Regional Medical Center reached out to say how thankful their workers were for the shirts. While they were grateful and loved providing the shirts, they were just “doing their job.”

Humor and Hope in the Fast Lane

Through all of the very serious talk about COVID-19, some people found at least a little bit of humor. One of those people is Marci Athey, Owner and CEO of Stitch98 in Mooresville, NC. Her team created and sold shirts with logos that brought funniness to an otherwise serious situation.

Athey and her team came up with witty COVID-19-related themes and made shirts that they sold to support a local charity. For every shirt sold they donated two dollars to the First Responders Children’s Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. Not only did they give to a worthy cause she also kept her employees busy and cheerful during a difficult time.

Cowboy Up Against Cancer

Linda Stephens is an independent representative of Halo Branded Solutions in Denver. She heard through a client about the work that cancer survivor and horse trainer Mike Brashear was doing work with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Cowboy Up Against Cancer” campaign and knew she had to help. Linda’s husband is also a leukemia survivor and she remembered how nice it was to get support during their difficult time fighting the disease.

Despite the setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brashear and Stephens teamed up to make and distribute 2,000 shirts to bring awareness to the fight against cancer.

This year, Brashear was nominated to participate in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Man & Woman of the Year campaign, raising over $89,000 and never losing sight of their important mission.

Thanking the Helpers and Lifting Spirits

Same Day Tees’ employees used their love of screen printing to honor frontline workers in their community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They designed and gave away hundreds of shirts to first responders, hospital staff, bus drivers, parking lot attendants, grocery store workers and delivery drivers. They also sent a shirt to the Mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, who personally wrote them back with a letter of appreciation.

This has been an interesting year to say the least. Through this emotional roller-coaster that has been 2020, we have managed to show our better selves through the rough times. With help from our family, friends, neighbors, community and sometimes even strangers, we are reminded that there is so much to look forward to in the days ahead. Don’t lose sight of the good thing — and there are so many good things. Having trouble finding them? Then go out of your way to help just one person. See the joy that your generosity gives them and try again to pay it forward whenever possible.

You never know when that little thing will make all the difference in the world to someone else. And maybe that someone is you. Be well.