Northgate Crossing Elementary School teacher Angela Pate sports one of her own custom T-shirt designs, sales of which are benefitting the district’s hurricane relief fund.
HOUSTON – Sept. 21, 2017 – Angela Pate, a fourth-grade language arts teacher at Northgate Crossing Elementary School, wanted to do something to help the Spring ISD community recover after Hurricane Harvey’s torrential rains and flooding. Using her own artistic passion, she adopted a creative approach to both raise money and spread the word that even a hurricane is no match for the strength and resilience of the Lone Star State.
“I make T-shirts, labels, decals, all sorts of things,” Pate said. “I’ve got a Cricut machine at home to cut patterns and designs, and it’s just something I do.”
Knowing her penchant for making and sharing her creations with others, Pate’s boyfriend pointed out a well-designed post he had spotted on Facebook showing support for the Houston area and those affected by the storm. “We talked about it and realized that we could make T-shirts, sell them and donate the proceeds to charity,” Pate said.
After weighing the benefits of donating to several charitable organizations, Pate settled on the Spring ISD Education Foundation’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, which is helping affected staff members, students and their families through small grants of up to $250.
“I knew I could serve a need in Spring ISD by going local,” she said.
With $800 in proceeds donated to the relief fund so far – together with another smaller donation to help affected employees at her boyfriend’s company – the project has turned out to be a success, with Pate shipping orders nationwide from as close as Plano, Texas, to as far away as New Jersey.
“It really took off through Facebook,” Pate said. “People will post pictures of themselves wearing them, saying, ‘I’m rocking my T-shirt!’” Buyers can customize the basic “Texas Strong” design, and Pate has developed several variations of her own, including one celebrating the return of teachers and students to their campuses, emblazoned with the words “Texas Strong – Back by Popular Demand.”
After selling the shirts for $20 apiece and covering her materials and printing costs, Pate is able to donate about $12.50 in proceeds from each shirt sold. Working together with her boyfriend to complete and fill orders in their spare time, they’ve delivered more than 80 shirts so far, as well as about a dozen hoodies. Those interested in learning more can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s been really rewarding to get to give back to Spring ISD and the Spring community,” Pate said. “This is where I started as a teacher. I’ve got a lot of roots here. It’s been very nice to give something back.”