T-shirts for good causes | December 5, 2008 | Danville Express | DanvilleSanRamon.com |


Danville Express

Living - December 5, 2008

T-shirts for good causes

High school girls launch project to help save the world

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

Two Danville girls are doing their part to save the world, T-shirt by T-shirt.

Amanda Calamoneri and Angela Accomazzo, seniors at San Ramon Valley High, are coordinating with nonprofit groups to promote their causes on the backs of T-shirts. On the front the shirts say "my tee saves the world" in large attractive letters, with a picture of the world forming the "o" on the shirt.

"I was always telling my parents, 'I want to save the world,'" recalled Amanda.

"Amanda's dad suggested we do something like this," said Angela. "He suggested T-shirts."

The girls like the idea and formed a plan: Sell T-shirts that promote a good cause, and give half the price to the cause.

First they had to find a company to produce the T-shirts at a low cost so they could offer them at an attractive price. They finally picked Gryco Sportswear, which recently moved from Danville to Walnut Creek. They worked with the company on what the shirts would look like.

"It took us two to three months to get a good design," said Angela.

At Gryco, they pay $4.19 per shirt; they charge customers $12; and give $6 to the charity. The extra dollar or two goes to buy more T-shirts, and Amanda and Angela are considering putting any extra into a fund for their college books.

They also had to find the nonprofit organizations to benefit. They sent out information to about 150 companies and heard back from 10 to 12.

"Half said, 'I'll do it but I can't do it right now,'" said Angela. "We have five now."

The girls assigned primary colors to each of the organizations:

* Red promotes the American Cancer Society;

* Yellow is Nothing But Nets, which works to prevent malaria by providing mosquito nets;

* Black is Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation;

* Blue, Save the Whales Again; and

* Purple, Reef Check, which works worldwide to save reefs.

They are also in contact with Stand! Against Domestic Violence and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

The week before Thanksgiving vacation, the two brought their T-shirts to San Ramon Valley High to sell during their lunch hour and with those sales had earned enough to give $90 to each of the five charities.

They said the most popular colors with their fellow students are blue, purple and yellow, while others seem to favor the red and the black.

"The community is so welcoming to this idea," said Angela. "We really appreciate all the support."

They paid for their own T-shirts, which they wear to promote the cause, and are pleased that others are wearing them to school and buying them as gifts.

"This is the first generation to think locally and act globally," said Amanda's father Al Calamoneri, explaining that his generation may have wanted to act but the Internet has made it so much easier.

"The girls took the ball and ran with it," said mom Andrea Calamoneri.

The T-shirts are made of 100 percent cotton and shrink a little, say the girls, but only in length. To find out more or to order a T-shirt, e-mail savetheworldT@yahoo.com. They will link interested people to their Web site, which is under construction.

They said it's been tough to develop the T-shirt business while keeping up with school and filling out their college applications but they hope to have more time now.

"We're proud of our accomplishment," said Amanda.

"You have to have motivation - this is to help charities," said Angela.

Amanda has always liked the ideas of promoting good causes on T-shirts. "I used to design T-shirts in my room, using old T-shirts," she said. She would sew cloth from old shirts to form words and remembered one she made in middle school that said, "I love trees."

That method, of course, was too labor intensive for this project. Amanda plans to major in environmental sciences in college, while Angela is thinking of a history major. They are both considering UC Davis.

They plan to bring their T-shirt business with them when they go to college so they can continue to do their part to make the world a better place to live.


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