Last Summer, while visiting Newport, Rhode Island, my daughter and I met up with a local friend and as we chatted we could not help but notice his shirt. He wore a T-shirt that simply said, “Be Kind to Everyone.” Our friend Bill provided us with the story behind his shirt, which was called “Jordyn’s Summer Shirt Project.” Bill had met Jackie Moore, the founder of the Summer Shirt Project / Be Kind to Everyone, through his IBM leadership team. Jackie had launched the Summer Shirt Project in 2018 for her Autistic daughter, Jordyn. The project’s purpose was to teach Jordyn job skills. Jackie and her husband had become concerned that once Jordyn finished school, there might be limited opportunities for adults with special needs. So these ambitious, concerned parents created their own job skills training program and the “Summer Shirt Project” was born. In the beginning they asked family and friends to purchase a “Be Kind to Everyone” T-shirt so that their daughter could learn how to roll and package the t-shirts. They set a modest goal for themselves of selling 40 t-shirts. The Moore’s reached out to their circle of family and friends, who told more family and friends, and before long, “Jordyn’s Summer Shirt Project” grew into a successful family business. Jordyn works independently rolling t-shirts, adding wristbands, and signing and stamping individual thank you cards which are included in every order. On Jackie’s Facebook page, she shared: “The response we’ve had is incredible and we LOVE our shirt project.” Jackie added that the reason it is still called the “Summer Shirt Project” (even though it is a year round business) is that the word “Summer” brings them back to the magical moment when it all started.
I am now the proud owner of 2 of these amazing T-shirts. I love their message and the meaning behind them. And following Jordyn’s journey on Instagram @summershirtproject and her website, https://bekindtoeveryone.com/ is a well needed pleasure with a simple reminder to be kind to everyone.
Visit their Facebook page here, too https://www.facebook.com/summershirtproject/.
By Mary Ellen