‘Texas Strong’ Harvey Fundraiser Spearheaded by Islander Student, Alumna and Innovation Center Client

Published: September 01, 2017

‘Texas Strong’ Harvey Fundraiser Spearheaded by Islander Student, Alumna and Innovation Center Client

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – They are raising money for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts – one t-shirt at a time. Four online clothing retailers, including one owned by at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi alumna, have joined forces to sell a locally-designed t-shirt, with all proceeds benefitting the Food Bank of Corpus Christi. The brands simultaneously launched the t-shirt fundraiser on Sept. 1 on their respective homepages, with the goal of raising $4,000 for the local non-profit as the assist those displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

The brands joining forces are:

  • sewbonita.com – owned by Elena Flores, two-time Islander alum. Flores earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Science and Psychology in 2003, and a Master of Science in Community Counseling in 2007.
  • tacogear.com – owned by Gerald Flores, who is also the Creative Director of Ensemble Group, a client at the Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center, run by the College of Business at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
  • sealevelapparel.com – operated out of Austin
  • barbacoapparel.com – operated out of San Antonio

“I couldn’t just sit still when so many people need help,” said Gerald Flores. “I know how far a helping hand can go, whether it’s clearing trees, roads or picking up debris, but I can’t do that while I am at work, so I decided to do what I do best and sell t-shirts and raise money for a great cause.”

Two other graphic designers assisted Flores in the creative process – Garrett Huls of MDR Advertising, and Sonny Martinez, a Texas A&M-Corpus Christi marketing major and studio art minor, who also works at the Business Innovation Center.

“The design, including the words ‘Texas Strong’ plus the image of Texas, our state flag, a flower and banner was truly a collaborative effort,” said Martinez. “We are at our best when we work together.”

The t-shirts are selling for $20 each. A pre-order campaign will run for two weeks and shirts are expected to ship in late September.

“For every $1 that is raised, the Food Bank is able to turn it into seven meals for a family displaced by Hurricane Harvey,” said Elena Flores. “Seeing my fellow designers and online retailers pull together to help one another so quickly makes me feel proud and inspired. I have never been prouder to be a Texan.”

Elevated Screen Printing, a local company which will open its first brick and mortar store in downtown Corpus Christi in the coming months, has offered their screen-printing services free of charge for this fundraiser.