WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI) – It’s a tradition that’s almost as old as the organization that created it.
Every year, Sally Kate Winters Family Services works hard on their Christmas fundraiser, and people throughout the community can’t get enough of it.
T-shirts, tiles, and ornaments are big sellers for the shelter.
They’ve been selling their shirts since 1991, and some folks in the community have made a hobby out of collecting them all.
Jory Tally is the Outreach / Community Educator for Sally Kate Winters Family Services in West Point.
This time of year, she can barely walk into her office because the walls are lined with t-shirt boxes.
“People said, Jory, when the t-shirt fundraiser starts, get ready. I did not know what they meant, and then I found out as soon as it started what they meant, and it’s been awesome,” said Tally.
Employees said they sell out of their specialty shirts every year, and this year is no exception.
“We ordered a thousand and fifty t-shirts. So, the whole process of getting the t-shirts ordered and everything started back in August,” said Tally.
It’s not just people from West Point who want a shirt, though.
“We have people from literally all over the state who order t-shirts. There’s a lady who lives in Vicksburg, and she orders t-shirts every year. This year she did like she always does, and she ordered over sixty t-shirts. So, we shipped them to her in Vickburg,” said Tally.
For Evelyn Lantz and her family, the t-shirts have become a holiday tradition.
“We started out because my family, my girls and I, always went Friday after Thanksgiving shopping, and we always used the t-shirts…We got comments, everybody stopped us. They wanted to know where we got our t-shirts because they were so whimsical and they were different every year. They wanted to know where they came from and where we got them,” said Lantz.
Lantz said she owns every design, but there are a few that stand out.
“I can remember a snowman, I can remember a whimsical tree on the back of them. Most of the time they were local people that designed the shirts,” said Lantz.
At the end of the holiday, the fundraiser is much bigger than an ornament or a t-shirt.
“It’s more than just t-shirts, it’s more than just tiles, it’s more than just ornaments. There’s a heart behind each of those items. That heart is the heart beat of children we’re helping, and I think that’s what people see and I think that’s what people look forward to when they buy the items,” said Tally.
Organizers said the t-shirts raise anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 each year.