Florence designer donating shirt sales to tornado relief

(Source: Maggiecrisler.com)
(Source: Maggiecrisler.com)

FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) A resident of Florence and a graduate of the University of Alabama is using her talents to raise money for tornado relief in the storm ravaged state.

On her website, Maggie Crissler says she designed these shirts to sell for profit, but after the deadly April 27th tornadoes, she decided to donate the proceeds to the Red Cross. She says her goal is to raise at least $1,000 for Red Cross. And as of Tuesday, she surpassed that goal by raising more than $10,000!

"I'm really excited that I can do something to contribute and help because I was really heartbroken about the devastation in Tuscaloosa and all over Alabama," Crissler said in a phone interview. "I'm really  proud of everybody that's supporting the victims."

You've probably seen Crissler's artwork around the Shoals in various places, especially Rivertown Coffee Company. A look at her portfolio will tell you that she's an accomplished designer.

The shirts come in red, gray and orange and cost $15 each. Again, the proceeds are being donated to the Red Cross for Alabama tornado relief.

Crissler said when she heard about the devastating tornadoes, she tried to get in touch with her friends in Tuscaloosa and family in the Huntsville area. Her family and friends survived the storm and their homes sustained minimal damage. But after the storms moved out of the area and reports of the devastation came in, Crissler said she wanted to do something to help the storm victims.

Crissler's work schedule didn't allow her to travel to Tuscaloosa or Phil Campbell, two of the hardest hit areas in the state, to help. Instead, she used her talent and resources to raise money for the Red Cross.

She posted the shirts around 6:30 Saturday night on her website. By the time she went to bed, Crissler had 60 orders to fill. When she got up Sunday morning, her orders tripled. As of Wednesday evening, she had more than 1,000 orders to fill. Crissler said she is overwhelmed by the response. Friends from the Black Owl Trading Company in Florence are helping her print the shirts in their shop at cost. The rest of the funds from the shirts will go to the Red Cross.

Crissler said she has received orders from customers in the northern United States, Canada and even soldiers deployed to Afghanistan.

"I never imagined that it could possibly make that big of a difference," she said.

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