Kids help kids through charity that puts new spin on shopping
TAMPA, Fla. - A new charity in Tampa aims to teach kids to give back.
Tampa-based brand "Wee Macree" makes shirts that make a difference, teaching kids to help kids. It sells tee-shirts that support organizations that help children. When you pay for one of their shirts, you're paying it forward
"The whole idea behind Wee Macree is getting people to shop differently. Sure, it might cost a little more. It's getting [consumers] to say okay you buy this shirt, you're going to feed 40 meals to children, or this shirt will pair a therapy dog with a disabled child," explained creator Julie Tingley.
Wee Macree was inspired by the pandemic when the Tampa mom and entrepreneur saw her normally outgoing daughters begin to withdraw.
"They had changed, and I started reading the data of increased instances of depression and anxiety and worse among children," stated Tingley.
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She wanted to empower children to create positive change.
"The kids that are okay and accounted for, could I make them feel like they had a purpose? That we were living through this time for a purposed and then the kids that were falling off, not going to school, could we tell them that there were other kids out there working for them, lift them up and bring them up?" she said.
The latest collaboration supports Metropolitan Ministries efforts to help homeless kids get the school supplies they need.
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"Who I help is kids and how it makes me feel is happy, because I'm a kid also and if I was one of those kids in need I would want help too, so I want to help kids," said Tingley’s young daughter Ella.
They work with a local veteran-owned business.
"It feels really good. We survived all these crazy times and whatnot and I feel we need to help others who are less fortunate," shared Travis Hise.
"When they get a shirt in the mail they get a story that comes with the shirt, the story of the nonprofit and the mission and the child they're helping and I really hope this helps them find purpose," explained Tingley.
Little kids, hoping to make a big difference.
"It's as easy as wearing a shirt sometimes to make a difference," shared Tingley. "It's the small acts of kindness that can change the world and if we can nurture and grow the empathy that all of these kids have in them already they really can do some big things"
Ask these girls how powerful kids are and they say, "Very powerful!" as they flex their muscles and beam out smiles.