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Screen-printed T-shirt Helps a New Jersey Family Raise Money for Type 1 Diabetes Research

Challenge: To select and design a t-shirt meant to unify a Walk Team and spread a message long after the Walk is over.

When Ed and Kim Buonocore of North Branch, New Jersey, discovered that their 6-year-old son Michael had Type I diabetes, they refused to take the diagnosis lying down. Instead, the family learned all they could and began to prime themselves for the fight of their lives. “We’re not a business or organization,” explains Ed. “But we are dedicated to doing everything possible to raise money for diabetes research with the dream that someday our son (and the 23 million others affected by diabetes in the U.S.) will be cured.”

One way families, friends and communities successfully rally to raise funds for research is to start a team and “walk” for a cure. Ed and Kim launched their team, Michael’s Miracles, with the help of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the leading charitable funder and advocate of type 1 diabetes research worldwide. This year alone, the JDRF expects families across the U.S. to raise nearly $21 million.

And since you can’t have a team without a team t-shirt, Ed set out to have a shirt designed for Michael’s Miracles—and he knew just where to turn: to ePromos’ Promotions specialist Omer Cohen. Ed and Omer had worked together before on a project for New Jersey Probation. He knew that Omer had done a great job for his employer then—and that he would do a great job for his son now.

Solution: A heavy-weight, heavy-duty t-shirt by Fruit of the Loom® screen-printed with a special message.

With literally 100s of t-shirts to choose from in all colors and price ranges and with options galore—with pockets or without, jersey or not, organic or not—Omer guided Ed to his final selection: a heavyweight t-shirt by Fruit of the Loom® in blue with a ribbed crew collar, deep armholes and hemmed short sleeves and bottom for a neat finished look. The shirt would tell the Buonocore’s story with a very special screen-printed message: “A thousand-mile journey begins with a single step.” That message resonated with Ed because, he says, “Our journey has begun.” The shirts would also be sturdy enough to stand up to repeated wear, which would help people remember the fight long after the walk was over.

Result: Walk Team “Michael’s Miracles” raises over $6,000 for juvenile diabetes research.

Team Michael’s Miracles raised over $6,000 to advance the cause of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Ed believes the t-shirts, given to participants who raised at least $100 and sold to non-participants, played a large part in the Walk’s success. “The shirts symbolize our unity and dedication to seeing our dream come true,” says Ed. “When people wear their shirts, they remember how important our fight is and are proud to be part of a team inching its way closer to the dream … a cure.”


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