A Little City T-Shirt With a Big Impact
Sales of the "Falls Church, Better Together" shirts have helped local businesses and families.
When is a hometown pride T-shirt more than a T-shirt? When you sell 2,170 of them (in a city with an estimated population of 15,000, no less) and raise nearly $36,000 for the community, proving that the shirt’s message isn’t an empty one.
Falls Church residents Suzanne Hladky and Adena Williams did exactly that in April and May with a pop-up sale of their limited-run “Falls Church, Better Together” T-shirts, using the proceeds to purchase gift cards from 65 local small businesses. The gift cards were then distributed to individuals and families in need through Food for Others, the Falls Church Education Foundation Family Assistance Fund, Operation Pathways, Homestretch and several other area nonprofits.
“In the middle of a really difficult time, it made us feel like we were doing something,” Williams says, crediting the idea to a similar effort they’d seen on Facebook in San Antonio, Texas. “We had no idea it would impact so many people. We thought we’d sell maybe 50 shirts. It sounds hokey, but when things feel so overwhelming, to be able to go into a small business and drop $500 feels like a big deal.”
If our math is right, some 14% of Little City dwellers are now proud owners of those hometown shirts. Better together, indeed.