A Glen Burnie company has decided to help those touched by war in the Persian Gulf by doing what they do best -- print t-shirts.
Two days after the war began, Ken Henkel and Bill Voelp of Custom Printed Sportswear contacted the Central Maryland Chapter of the American RedCross to see what they could do to help.
Their company and the Red Cross joined together to promote limited edition t-shirts with "I Support Our Troops" and a yellow ribbon printed on the front. On the back is a large eagle in front of anAmerican flag, along with the message "I support our troops in Operation Desert Storm."
The shirts sell for $10; $5 goes directly to the Red Cross Military Services, which aids families with relatives deployed in the Middle East.
Military Services helps provide blood servicesto the military, emergency communications to people stationed in Saudi Arabia and financial help for Maryland families of men and women in the Persian Gulf.
"The money from the shirt goes to (the Red Cross), and not in anyone's pocket," said Henkel, who designed the shirt. "Other peopleare making shirts for profit. We want to do this for the Red Cross."
"It's very legitimate," said Julie Lyn Ellsworth, an annual fund director with the Red Cross' Central Maryland Chapter. "He has gone through us and will give us 50 percent of the sale."
A letter from the American Red Cross mailed to Custom Printed Sportswear verifies the cooperative effort.
"It's really very important that people realize that the effort is theirs," Ellsworth said. Everyone else in the state of Maryland has called us to offer money or support. We have had a very nice response of community groups who want toraise money for the Red Cross -- not an overwhelming response, but agood one."
As of Thursday, the printing company had produced 2,200 shirts. Its goal is to sell 5,000 shirts locally and contribute $25,000 to the American Red Cross.
"As long as the Red Cross needs help, we will keep printing them," Voelp said.
The shirts are available at Custom Printed Sportswear, 175 Penrod Court in Glen Burnie; Henny Mack's, on Furance Branch Road in Glen Burnie; Am-Pro, on RitchieHighway in Glen Burnie, and all three locations of Bart's Sporting Goods, two in Pasadena and one in Glen Burnie.
Henkel and Voelp arelooking for more sponsors to sell the shirts.
For information, call 766-0556.