Shelby: Oh hey, guys! What’s up? I am in the Channel One storage closest, or as we like to call it the Swag Center, and it is a little messy in here, so I am trying to clean things up. But it got me thinking, do you ever wonder what happens to the t-shirts after we wear them on air? Well, you are about to find out.
We thought since you guys are so generous with us, we would pass on the generosity. We packed up the t-shirts and shipped them to an organization in Austin, Texas called Open Arms. Open Arms hires refugee women from war-torn countries who have fled their homes in search of a safer place to live. Open Arms takes donated t-shirts, washes them and then turns them into new clothing — mostly scarves and skirts. The workers at Open Arms are paid a liveable wage, the amount of money needed to support a family in everyday life.
And we are not the only ones donating to this worthy cause. Students at Westlake High School in Austin, Texas were as well.
How many shirts did you donate?
“I donated around twelve.”
“I did four.”
“Donated three shirts.”
Shelby: Two sisters, Catherine Anne and Rebecca, organized the school’s t-shirt drive, holding a competition to see which grade could collect the most shirts.
Was it hard?
“She knows better than I do.”
“Hard is not the right word. I mean, it was time consuming but everyone was willing to help.”
Shelby; We arrived just in time to find out the winner.
“Congrats senior class, we won!”
Shelby: It was time to get the donated shirts over to Open Arms.
Where should we put them? A lot of t-shirts for you guys!
Flora escaped her war-torn country of Sudan and now works at Open Arms.
Flora: I leave Sudan because Sudan’s too dangerous. I leave Sudan, come to Egypt and in Egypt, I wait to come to America because I want my kids to go a better school.
Shelby: The single mother of seven will help transform the shirts donated by the Westlake students.
You brought your whole family?
Shelby: And are you happy they are here now?
Flora: Very happy…very happy. At Open Arms, always talking english, you know, that is so good for me.
Shelby: That is good.
Flora: All day. Very good for me!
Shelby: Tila came to the U.S. from a refugee camp in Nepal where life was a struggle.
Tila: We have no identity.
Shelby: No identity?
Tila: Yes. No identity. And always sitting at the refugee camp working. Not allowed to go outside and make a little bit more money. That’s not allowed.
Shelby: She is happy she now earns enough to support her three children.
Tila: But here is good!
Shelby: So, we have a special surprise. These boxes came from Channel One’s special NYC headquarters. You viewers sent them to us, we wore them on air and now I am so honored to be here to donate these tshirts. So, Lacey, you ready to see what is inside of here? Raya?
“We can’t wait.”
Shelby: So, now your donated t-shirts will get new lives and will support the lives of refugees.
Shelby Holliday, Channel One News.