The Havelock Fire and Rescue Department pink T-shirt drive has gone international.
"The response from the country has been quite big. We’ve got 26 states and two foreign countries," said Charles Winter, a firefighter and paramedic who is on the committee to sell the shirts and raise money for breast cancer patients through donations to the CarolinaEast Foundation.
Shirts have been requested from as far away as Canada and Ireland.
"I don’t know how many shirts we’ve sold, but the response has been really good for what we’ve been doing," said Winter.
About 600 shirts have been printed, and the department is ready to do a third order.
"Over the last two years we’ve sold about $5,000 worth that we’ve given to the CarolinaEast Foundation," said assistant Chief Steve Coffey.
And the effort is on to equal that total this year.
"We’re trying to get in this one year what we’ve gotten in the last two years, so the push is much greater," Winter said. "It’s a little ambitious but we’re going to do it."
The slogan this year is "Brave Enough to Wear Pink."
The emphasis this year has been on using social networking to get the word out in addition to banners and a lot of flyers all over town.
"Before we started hitting the social networks, we had about a 1,000 visits to our page a day and now we’re a little over 11,000 a day," Coffey said.
The shirts cost $20 for all sizes, which include small through triple extra large.
According to Winter, the foundation does many things to help people fighting cancer.
"They do a lot of things, but one of the things that they do do is take care of the day-to-day things that people with cancer are going through such as last year one person didn’t have the gas to get to their chemotherapy sessions, so they helped out with the gas, people who had to get mammograms done and others who needed prescriptions," Winter said. "So, there are a lot of day-to-day things that people with cancer have to deal with that they’re trying to help with."
Coffey said money raised through the department’s T-shirt sales allowed the foundation to present 12 financial grants.
To purchase a shirt, drop by the West End Fire Department at Tucker Creek, go online to www.havelocknc.us or call 444-3753.