Alabama Tornado Relief

/* UPDATE 2: Shirts will go into production this week and the first orderers should receive them soon after. Also, I’ve removed the third shirt despite the fact that it’s been pretty popular (around 1/4 of the total orders.) I haven’t received any complaints, but I feel as though the site traffic-to-ordering ratio might be higher if I remove it. If you still want one, get in touch with me in the comments below and I’ll make it happen, but for now, I feel as though this will help my shirts reach a wider audience. */

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/* UPDATE: I’ve received several complaints about cards being denied or the web form not working properly. I’ve gone through all the troubleshooting on PayPal’s side and the most likely problem is that there’s a small discrepancy between the billing address on-file with your bank and the one you typed into the form. It can be something as simple as a period (i.e. Apt. B vs. Apt B) or a special character, such as ‘#.’ If your payment doesn’t go through, try typing your address in several different ways. If none of them works, please contact your bank to verify the address and any other details. Also, please make sure you’re inputting your security code (on the back of the card) and expiration date properly. The only other possibility is if you’re using a department store credit card or a debit card that doesn’t allow for credit transactions (i.e. you have to type in your pin number every time you use it.) If all else fails, try opening a PayPal account, if you don’t already have one. PayPal will only let you use a credit card so many times before requiring you create an account. I apologize for any inconvenience, but PayPal is just the easiest and most secure method I can use. If you still cannot make your payment go through, please leave a comment below describing your problem. – Thanks */

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As you may know, either by direct observation or from the news depending on where you live, a rash of tornadoes and severe storms tore across the south one week ago today. My home state of Alabama was particularly devastated. Though all of my friends and family were unharmed, only having to deal with week-long (or still ongoing) power-outages, many others have lost loved-ones, homes and livelihoods. At the time of this writing, 328 people have lost their lives with 236 of those being from Alabama, with many more missing (if you live in Alabama, please visit the Facebook pages for Missing persons and Missing Animals and this list for those missing in Tuscaloosa.) If you haven’t already, take a look at these two videos showing the massive tornado that tore through town and then a fly-over of the aftermath:

Tuscaloosa, the home of my alma-mater, a place I called home for three years, was quite literally torn asunder. While the university was virtually untouched, much of the rest of the city took the brunt of the storm, including the school at which my wife first taught (University Place Elementary) and the church she and I attended together. After the disaster, my wife immediately sprung to action and held a donation drive at her current school to collect much-needed supplies which we’ll be taking down there this weekend. So, I started trying to come up with some way I could help as well, and below is what I came up with (click the image to enlarge):

Purchase a ‘Help Heal Alabama: Tornado Relief 2011′ T-Shirt


Style & Color
Size


I tried my best to come up with a design for ‘everyone’ — something to appeal to all crowds. The first shirt, ‘Scarred,’ shows the state of Alabama with the literal scars left by the paths of the major tornadoes that ripped through it. The second shirt, obviously for ‘Gamers,’ will show your friends and family that you can support a good cause despite spending most of your free-time splattering enemies’ brains or twiddling Tetris blocks. And finally, I have a feeling there will be a select group of people that want to display just how vehemently they hate tornadoes, hence the ‘F&#% Tornadoes’ shirt (I apologize if you’re offended… but seriously, ‘F&#% Tornadoes!’ Also, you can get the shirts in censored or uncensored format, depending on your persuasion – just put a note in your order.)  Each one can be purchased in gray, crimson and/or white and come in small, medium, large and extra-large. Please use the Paypal form above to make your selections and purchases.

100% of the profits from these shirts will be donated directly to disaster relief in Alabama (I’m currently researching charities to determine which ones are most trustworthy, will get the money to the area in the fastest and most efficient way, and don’t skim any off the top.) I want to be as transparent about this process as possible, so as of right now, it looks like it will cost somewhere around $7 to have each shirt manufactured, leaving $13 for charity (and the $5 to ship you the shirt.) If none of my designs appeal to you, I encourage you to head over to a fellow Alabama alumni’s website and order one of her shirts — Maggie Crisler’s Tornado Relief T-Shirts. I believe she’s already sold several hundred shirts and all of the money raised there is going right back into relief aid as well.

And of course, if you don’t even want a t-shirt or can/want to give more than $13, I strongly encourage you to donate whatever amount you can to the disaster relief department of your favorite charity.

Thank you in advance to anyone that purchases a shirt or donates. You have my deepest and most sincere gratitude.

Chris Robertson

About Chris Robertson

Originally from Scottsboro, AL, Chris currently resides in Nashville, TN where he freelances for several gaming outlets, watches a lot of horror movies, dreams about space travel, and hangs out with his two awesome dogs and wonderful wife.