St. Francis student gets creative to help hurricane victims

St. Francis student gets creative to help hurricane victims
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It's the season for football rivalries but one local student is setting aside the friendly animosity and using his business aspirations to connect more than eight different schools to help hurricane victims.

Carter Smith is a senior at St Francis de Sales.

He recently came up with a unique way to help hurricane victims through his school, all thanks to some inspiration from his grandma.

"She was watching the news and she said Carter you've got to do something about that watching the hurricane victims,"said Smith. "I'm like alright grandma I'll see what I can do."

He quickly threw together a penny war raising $200 dollars, but wanted to do more. He says he found his "Boston Strong" shirt in his closet and decided a t-shirt fundraiser was what he would do.

He then contacted friends and family from other schools in the area to join in on the cause.

To date, more than eight other schools have begun selling the t-shirt design to benefit hurricane victims nearly two months after Hurricane Harvey and Irma's devastation.

"It's still so important now and that's why we didn't necessarily stop," said Smith. "Knowing that it would be a long process because we know how much help they still need."

The t-shirts have the Toledo skyline on the front with the words "from our community…" with the saying, "… "to yours" on the back, along with the motto, "Change you, change the world" with the outline of Texas and Florida.

"One of our motto's at St. Francis is "change you, change the world" so I'm just trying to help make a difference and go from there," said Smith.

Carter says they submitted the t-shirt design before Hurricane Maria, but notes they are donating the penny war funds directly to Puerto Rico victims.

Advanced Incentives is printing the shirts and says this multi-school campaign is one of a kind for them.

"With the local high schools, there is a lot of rivalry with the football teams and the sports and all that," said Brian Williams, vice president and part owner of Advanced Incentives. "But it's great to be able to bring everybody together for a good cause in order to help other people."

The money raised from the $12 shirts will go directly to hurricane victims in Florida and Texas. We got an inside look at how they were made.

First, experts create a screen with the specific design, then the shirts go onto the printing press where they are inked twice.

From there they will go directly into the dryer to cure the ink to ensure the ink lasts, before the shirt is given to the customer.

Carter says he doesn't have a goal or any real expectations. He just wants to help as many hurricane victims as possible.

They have been selling the shirts for about two weeks and already have sold more than 100.

"If I go around and I'm in public or at the mall anything like that and I see somebody wearing that shirt, I'm going to be really proud of what we're doing and what we're putting together," said Smith.

The shirts are available in several colors and sizes and are available until November 11th.

If you're interested in helping Carter help others, you can go to their online shop here.

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