Update: The Lawrence Landmarks apparel sale has reopened and will close on Monday, May 4.
Three students at the University of Kansas, Grace Roepke, Ibolya Konkoly and Taylor Arneson, created a T-shirt design to raise money for three Lawrence charities to help with the effects of COVID-19.
From April 2 to 9, the three sold T-shirts, hoodies and crewnecks with a “Take Me to Lawrence” design for people who were missing their city after having to return home for quarantine.
Lawrence local Allyson Aumiller sells second-hand and thrift store clothing in her online store, 'Ace Vintage,' and has seen more activity in the last few weeks due to stay-at-home orders for the community.
“Others in our company had been doing similar orders and were donating the proceeds to benefit their college towns, so we took that idea and did the same,” Roepke said. “While the coronavirus was keeping students from their favorite towns, they wanted students to be able to remember that place and come together to support that place at the same time.”
Ten percent of the “Take Me to Lawrence” proceeds were split and given to the various charities each of the girls' choice. The donations totaled about $600.
Roepke, Konkoly and Arneson work as campus managers putting together T-shirt sales for University Tees, an apparel company that allows 10% of proceeds to go to a designated charity. Normally, they mostly work with the Greek community, but they decided to open it up to everyone to help the Lawrence community.
“This position makes me the liaison between customers, who are usually students, and the art team at University Tees to create designs for apparel and promotional products to fit the needs of their organization or event,” said Konkoly, a junior from Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
Konkoly and University Tees worked together to create the design for the sale. She said they donated a percentage of the order to the Lawrence food pantry Just Food.
“Food is an essential part of life obviously,” Konkoly said, “And it can be challenging to get when normal day-to-day places and means of transportation are closed. I think any amount of donation can be helpful during these unprecedented times.”
Roepke, a senior from Lakeville, Minnesota, chose for her proceeds to go to the University’s Health Systems COVID-19 Response Fund, and Arneson, a senior from Plymouth, Minnesota, chose to donate to the Lawrence Humane Society.
“The purpose of the sale was to raise money for different philanthropies,” Roepke said. “Each of us had a separate link to the order, which would donate to different organizations.”
The trio has also done several other sales recently. They sold apparel featuring different Lawrence landmarks and bars. They donated proceeds to the Lawrence Restaurant Association, which has been helping local businesses cope with the effects of COVID-19.
Arneson said she also plans on putting together a sale to donate to Girls on the Run. Other sales will be posted on the University Tees’s Instagram.
“We plan on continuing to do our part to help Lawrence and the surrounding community during this time while students are away and life is very ‘not normal,’” Konkoly said. “Creating fun orders for clothing and products to add to the quarantine closet is a goal of mine and ours as a KU University Tees team.”