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Boy's T-Shirt Design Leads to 'Overwhelming' Results

University of Tennessee says it's raised nearly $1M for anti-bullying group
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2019 7:55 AM CST
Updated Dec 15, 2019 7:01 AM CST

(Newser) – A T-shirt designed by a bullied Florida fourth grader has helped raise nearly $1 million for an anti-bullying nonprofit. Back in September, the University of Tennessee got wind that the boy, a student in Altamonte Springs, had broken down in tears after classmates made fun of the homemade UT T-shirt that he wore to represent the Tennessee Volunteers football team for college colors week. The school ended up turning his hand-drawn design into an actual shirt that it put up for sale through its VolShop website; it also offered the student a full scholarship. Now, an update: FOX 35 reports that more than 112,000 T-shirts were sold in three months, raising more than $952,000 for the Stomp Out Bullying group—a response that a UT release says was "overwhelming and far exceeded expectations."

Each shirt was sold for $14.99, with about $8.45 per shirt going toward the anti-bullying organization. The demand for it was so high that at one point the VolShop website crashed. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports the shirt, which is no longer being made, even made its way into some famous hands, including WWE star Titus O'Neil. "This young man created his T-shirt because he is so proud to be a Vol," Chancellor Donde Plowman says, per the release. "We're proud of him, his family, and the thousands of people who showed that being a Volunteer is special. ... The response to this message of kindness will serve a great cause for years to come." (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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