As a nonprofit organization, we’re always looking for ways to give back to our community. We started Deaf Initiatives over 20 years ago in 1998 with the goal of creating employment opportunities for the Deaf in a communication barrier-free environment. We started as an organization to provide meaningful employment in a community that experiences high rates of unemployment. It is a source of great satisfaction that we are able to serve a dual role of creating opportunities while creating an incredibly high-quality product. While our primary mission is to create employment opportunities for the deaf, we find many more chances to give back.
We started our Work Experience Model for high school students to have first time work experience. The students are involved in many activities related to the production of our quilts, and some actually go on from the WEM to become permanently employed after graduation. We find many chances to do good work through these work experience programs. One of the things we’ve done – and continue to do each year – is our Be Warm project.
When our customers order T-Shirt quilts, we always use premium high-quality fabric and materials to produce a beautiful final product. We turn t-shirts from every occasion, whether they’re school mascot shirts, sports uniforms, Greek shirts from college, marathon race shirts, and more. After we cut the shirts and fabric to size, we always find ourselves with plenty of leftover material.
Instead of discarding these scraps, we took a look at the community around us in Columbus, Ohio and felt that we could help make a difference in the lives of the homeless during winter. Every year we save our leftover fabric, and whenever we find ourselves with some extra time or helping hands, we work on turning excess fabric into warm blankets, scarves, mittens and hats that we take and give away at the local homeless shelters. Since starting the project 4 years ago, we’ve made and donated over 1,000 blankets.
Making blankets for the homeless is a small act of kindness that can truly go a long way for a person who is struggling during the cold winter months. Whenever you order a T-Shirt Quilt, Blanket or Pillow, know that the money from your order goes to important and worthy causes within Deaf Initiatives, including the WEM and Be Warm project.
Ordering a custom-made keepsake from us is a great way to give back and support our organization and to have a treasured gift made from t-shirts that represent important moments in your life. Learn more about our organization and the people we exist for on our website at https://tshirtquilts.com/about/ .