Guest Blogger: Amanda Grant
After we decided to participate in the Atlanta WALK, we were encouraged by the organizers to make team shirts. I have a very good friend who designs and prints custom shirts, Katy, and she agreed to help. My daughter, Meryl, loves mermaids, so we decided to do a nautical theme inspired by our team name, Meryl’s Mermaids.
After Katy created the design, I shared a picture on my Facebook page for friends and family (including our Walk team members) to see. To my surprise, people started asking if they could purchase a shirt, with part of the money going towards a donation. Enough people asked that I talked to Katy, and she agreed to make more. (We had 11 team members, so Katy had already made 11 shirts.) Every time I checked Facebook, I would find another order! It was very exciting to see so much support for Meryl and for the Hydrocephalus Association.
Katy had also shared the shirt on her business page, and a friend of hers from high school contacted her to say that one of her twins was born with hydrocephalus, and she would like to support us, too. That was the start of our small ‘fundraiser’ spreading into a big fundraiser! That family asked if they could put their daughter’s name on the shirt to share with their family and friends. Then another family with a child also affected by hydrocephalus found us, and put their child’s name on the shirt.
This spread to 4 different families, who all shared with family and friends… the orders were really coming in! Katy and I were so excited, but overwhelmed, because Katy was making all of these shirts by hand. She really handled the pressure with grace as we got all of the orders printed and mailed out. To date, 70 shirts have been purchased, with $10 from each shirt going towards a donation to the HA. That means we have a $700 donation – so amazing! Katy and I never imagined printing team shirts for the walk could turn into such an inspiring thing. We have shirts across 4 families with children affected by hydrocephalus, in 4 different states, with sizes ranging from little baby onesies to 3XL!
It was also interesting to see how many families truly are affected by hydrocephalus. It’s something a lot of people have never heard of… yet through our social media, we connected with 4 different families all dealing with the same thing. I hope that these 70 people wearing shirts have all become aware of what hydrocephalus is, and can educate others who see them wearing the shirts, to really raise necessary awareness. I am so proud to wear my shirt and support my daughter.