DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A small business in Greenville is giving back in a big way.
Darke County Apparel has been open for a little more than a year. The shop specializes in embroidery, heat transfer, vinyl, and sublimation.
Owner Mary Francis says the community has been so good to her that she wanted to reciprocate.
“I always feel like I’m led to do something charitable,” says Francis.
After some inspiration and a generous donation, she’s making shirts and giving them to Beavercreek and Versailles students.
Francis has been busy the last couple weeks, customizing shirts for the Rolling Beavers–Beavercreek’s wheelchair basketball team–after she felt inspired earlier this year.
“I saw your story on the news about the Rolling Beavers. And since I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I’ve worked in facilities before with people in wheelchairs, that’s where my heart was,” smiles Francis.
Francis got in touch with the district and told them that she wanted to donate shirts to the team. After meeting with the school, students came up with designs, and Francis used her creative genius to put it all together.
“One shirt we’re going to make just for the players. They’re called shooting shirts,” describes Francis.
Each player will get a customized shirt free of charge, courtesy of Darke County Apparel.
“The other shirts are going to be for parents, students, and faculty,” describes Francis.
Francis will sell those shirts to fans and spectators, and all of the money will go back to the Rolling Beavers and the Beavercreek City School District.
The other batch of shirts she’s working on is heading to Versailles after a stranger’s recent donation.
“There’s a lady that came in. She wants to remain totally anonymous. She calls her charity for the school Gifts from God. She came in and purchased t-shirts and sweatshirts,” describes Francis.
After those shirts and sweatshirts are customized, they’ll go to more than a dozen students in Versailles.
Francis isn’t making a profit on any of it; she says her payout is greater than the money.
“To see the shock or the surprise or the happiness on people’s faces is more than enough for me. That’s all I need,” says Francis.
In addition to all of that, Francis and several other businesses are collecting toys and games for children in need for Christmas. The toy drive runs through Thursday, December 22. Drop-off sites include Darke County Apparel in Greene County, Do Good Ministries in Osgood, IGA in St. Henry, and The Mr. Shoppe in Coldwater.