The North Richland Hills Firefighters Association raised more than $6,300 in 48 hours for the families affected when a sniper killed five police officers Thursday in Dallas and injured nine other people.
“We’re intertwined,” association Vice President Adam Pendergrass said. “Those in law enforcement are the good guys.”
In the first day, 250 orders were placed, with $9 per shirt going straight to the victims, he said. Almost 700 shirts had been ordered by Wednesday morning, raising more than $6,300.
The T-shirts have the Fire Department name at the top, with a flag beneath and “Back the Blue” at the bottom. A line from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount runs through the design, a last-minute decision, Pendergrass said.
“I just felt like putting that Scripture on it would go a long way,” he said. “If we can start getting prayer and God back into communities, maybe it will go a long way to help solve some issues.”
Wearing the T-shirts demonstrates support for law enforcement, Pendergrass said.
“Every time a law enforcement officer sees someone wearing one of these T-shirts, they know they’re being supported,” he said. “We’re all family in this; we’re all going through this together. The best thing we can do is come together as a public safety family in these times of tragedy.”
T-shirts are available for order through Big Dawg Shirt Shack, owned and operated by a firefighter and his wife.
The Fort Worth Professional Firefighters Association is also selling “Back the Blue” T-shirts to benefit families.
“It was a way for us to reach out and support our fallen brothers in Dallas,” association President Michael Glynn said.
The shirts are available at the association headquarters, 3855 Tulsa Way, Fort Worth, TX 76107, for $20. Cash is preferable, Glynn said.
Versa Printing, a family-owned company in Dallas, designed and printed a shirt with the words “Pray for Dallas” across the front, with a flag and the Dallas skyline. All profits will go to the families of the five officers killed, said Roger Sosa, Versa Printing operations manager.
“We can’t keep them in stock,” Sosa said. More than 4,000 T-shirts have been sold, and demand has been so high that he hasn’t slowed down to count the exact number sold and the amount of money raised, Sosa said.
“We want to write out a check to each individual family once the sales slow down,” he said.
Orders have come in from around the world, he said.
“It’s been amazing,” he said. “It just shows we all can come together.”
Dylan Bradley: 817-390-7984, @dbradley1220