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MAKING A MARK: ‘Virginia is for Kindness’ T-shirts raises funds for Virginia Peninsula Foodbank

As COVID-19 takes a toll on individuals, families, and businesses, Katie Gaylord is inspiring people to do help and encouraging the community to be kind.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Virginia is for lovers. But as people search for ways to help amid the coronavirus, one campaign is calling on Virginians to be for kindness.

“We're all feeling so powerless. And when we help someone and we feel that joy in your heart that you have when you help another, you feel more connected to each other, and I think we feel less afraid,” said Katie Gaylord, School Counselor at Waller Mill Elementary in Williamsburg. 

She teamed up with Custom Ink for a T-shirt fundraiser benefitting the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank. She says it’s a way for people to give back while they stay at home. 

“When you think of helping someone, you wanna just jump in a car and go to that person,” Gaylord said. “How can we do that safely, and then empower people, any age, to give... and... someone's going to benefit immediately?” 

The shirts Gaylord helped design read "Virginia is for Kindness" on the front and "Faith Over Fear" on the back. With just four days left in the campaign, she says nearly 160 sold shirts have already raised more than $1,600 for the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank. 

“It reassures us that we all are helpers,” said Gaylord. “And when I see that number climb, it just reminds us of that, that we're all helpers in our own way, and we want to do. We want to give... and hope and kindness can truly win... It can win. It overcomes so many hardships.” 

Gaylord says helping people in need get healthy meals is no more critical than during the public health crisis. But the T-shirt’s positive message is an added bonus. 

“To be reminded of those hopeful moments, it just drives us into the next day with a grateful heart,” she explained. “And we are then put back into the mindset of, 'Things are going to be okay and we're all in this together.'" 

"Virginia is for Kindness" T-shirts are on sale for $20 through Monday, April 13. They are available in a variety of colors and sizes, and orders will be delivered about two weeks after the campaign closes. All proceeds will go directly to the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank. To make a purchase or donation, visit this website.

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