By Ryan Richardson
JOPLIN, Mo. —
The designer of the Restore Joplin T-shirts who helped raise nearly a quarter-million dollars for Joplin in the wake of the 2011 tornado has put together a similar design to raise money for residents of Moore, Okla.
When the extent of the damage from Moore’s EF-5 tornado became clear on Monday afternoon, Bart Paden, Carthage, began connecting with groups there to set up an immediate response for the community. Through Facebook and the Restore Joplin website, orders already were coming in that night for Restore Moore T-shirts.
Paden said proceeds from the shirts, which will be sold for $20, will then be used to support rebuilding efforts for Moore.
“It ties in with what we did here and we saw the benefit that it did in the wake of the Joplin tornado,” Paden said. “It is what we do.”
Though the initial printing for the T-shirts will be done at Binky Guy Textiles — the same Joplin business that printed the Restore Joplin T-shirts — Paden said that he does not want the printing process to stay in Joplin.
“We had everything printed here locally before and that was because it was supporting a business that was a part of Joplin and that kept money circulating inside of the city,” Paden said. “We want to find the local businesses in Moore to carry that torch. We want to feed it to them so they can run with it so it has the same effect that it had here.”
Paden estimates that more than 22,000 Restore Joplin shirts were sold in the past two years for a total gross approaching $250,000, with all but $6,000 of that being given to local groups after the printing costs were covered. Art Feeds, Watered Gardens and those employees of Freeman Health System who were storm victims were some of the recipients of the Restore Joplin donations.
The initial printing Tuesday was a small run of around 100 shirts with another 200 printed on Wednesday. Paden said that he already has a group from Houston who have agreed to take the shirts to Moore.
“They are making a special trip here before going to Moore so they can get the shirts on the ground in Moore,” Paden said. “We are getting the printing done for them before anything else. We’re taking online orders for the others ... and those will be printed soon after.”
Binky Guy owner Mike Wakefield said that taking part in the recovery effort for Moore residents was the next logical step for his business.
“We figured out something that helped Joplin and we are happy to help with Moore,” Wakefield said. “We know that everyone here can relate to what they are going through.”