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Care Wear Provides Local Support
“Pink Heals” is a self-described “community-based health-care program” that brings its grassroots fundraising message to the door of local communities aboard bright pink fire trucks manned by firefighters in bright pink uniforms. The nonprofit outreach organization was founded in 2007 by retired fireman Dave Graybill in order to keep fundraising dollars within local communities to aid local citizens who take ill and need financial help.
The group’s mission statement reads: “We have created a brand with our clothing line and merchandise that is sold locally and nationally to help our nonprofit. Only the sale of our merchandise sustains us.”
Pink Heals targets all cancer and other health issues that affect women and their families within their own hometowns. It encourages raising funds that benefit immediate local needs rather than sending donations to large corporate charities that have high overhead costs and whose impact is not felt where it’s needed most.
The words “Pink Heals” can be used to create fundraisers year round for different causes tailored to local needs, such as Pink Heals Diabetes, Pink Heals At-Risk Kids and Pink Heals Communities, says Graybill. “My idea was to create the world’s largest brand, which is actually a charity that can sustain itself,” he says. “We are the only nonprofit in the U.S. that doesn’t solicit donations.” Pink Heals doesn’t take any portion of local fundraising dollars or donations, but rather shows up in communities to demonstrate support and empower and encourage local businesses and organizations to raise money that will stay local and be used by its own people.
It will provide its logo and artwork free of charge to local organizations and government agencies if they want to create their own apparel for sale in order to maintain the group’s unique symbol and tagline: “Pink Heals, ‘Cares Enough to Wear Pink.’” Pink Heals also sells merchandise on its website.
There are currently over 500 Pink Heals fire trucks carrying its message nationwide, and a new pink truck is built every three weeks, says Graybill. The trucks show up at community events, encouraging cancer patients to sign the fire engine, and selling branded apparel to raise money for local causes.
T-shirts are the best seller, particularly black and heather gray, and a new raspberry shade is becoming more popular than the traditional pink color, says Graybill. Additional apparel offerings include yoga pants, hats, beanie caps, tank tops and baby onesies. Graybill eventually plans to expand the line to include such items as sandals and towels. “We need to sell what we know they’ll wear to help promote our message,” he says.
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