International Students Selling T-shirts for Tsunami Reliefby Howard W. Hewitt • January 7, 2005
T-shirts are now on sale at Wabash College to help with the victims of the Dec. 26 earthquake and tsunami disaster. Wabash College’s International students are selling T-shirts with a large, global map on the front, proceeds from which will be donated directly to the Red Cross.
After the announcement the shirts would soon be available, Director of International Studies David Clapp shared the idea with colleagues in international study offices at colleges across the country.
In just a few days Clapp had heard from a number of schools wishing to follow-up on the idea and create their own shirts. Many of those schools will be using the logo designed by Clapp and Tahir and Zuber Ahmed, twin Wabash sophomores from India, who came up with the original idea.
Initially, the thought was to use an existing international flag design, but then Clapp had a suggestion. "I had brought in a mosaic puzzle of the world before Christmas, so it kind of led to us gravitating toward the puzzle design," he explained. "The more we considered it, the more it seemed to fit what is going on over there – ‘putting it back together.’ "
The twins came up with the idea and remain the driving force behind the project.
"It’s sad hearing about everything," Tahir said. "We were just sitting down (Dec.) 26th and watching the news, I spoke to my mother (in India) she said things were really bad. So I called a couple of friends to see that they were all right. So I thought we might as well do something here and raise some money."
The boys did not know anyone directly affected by the disaster from their parts of the world, but admitted the tsunami hit not too far from their home of West Bengal.
"We first thought of the tshirts and Mr. Clapp helped us find someone, we sent them a design and they were really quick and helpful," Zuber said. "We contacted the Red Cross about donating the money and they said we could use their logo.
"All the international students are trying to do a little something to help."
The shirts were designed by Visionwear, Provo, Utah. The front of the shirt includes a jigsaw puzzle map of the world. The theme is "Peace It Back Together," referring to the massive rebuilding that the area that the area faces in the wake of the worst natural disaster in more than 100 years. The shirt’s left sleeve has a Red Cross and Wabash College logo.
"Our students wanted to do something positive," said Clapp. "We were fortunate because we have a number of students studying here from the affected region, but all of their families are safe."
The international students plan to reach out into the Crawfordsville community this week. They will be selling the t-shirts at Bank One and National City Bank from mid-afternoon till closing. They also expect to be in National City Bank downtown on Saturday morning.
Shirts are available in the International Studies Office on the first floor of Center Hall (room 112) for $15. Or, people can call (765) 361-6078 or 361-6580 to make arrangements to buy a shirt.
In photo above, Tahir and Zuber Ahmed in the tsunami relief t-shirts.