GROVE CITY (KDKA) — A lot of people wondered what they could do after the shooting at the synagogue in Squirrel Hill last Saturday, and one local business has been working around the clock after receiving a phone call asking for help.
Ithen Global is a small, family-owned company in Grove City. They print a couple million shirts per year, but now, some of that work was put on hold by what happened at the Tree of Life.
“Some folks there that, members of the synagogue, contacted me on Sunday night and immediately we were trying to figure out how to make it work. I got here at 3:15 the next morning,” said Chris Ithen, the company’s co-founder.
Ithen Global is a high volume printer. They are in the process right now of working on a big order for a brewing company based in Minnesota. However, it’s not those shirts, but the “Stronger Than Hate” shirts, supporting the victims, that has made it so that they’ve literally added 12 people just to keep up with demand.
“Most of what we do is print, bulk, ship. We are not involved in that, so staffing was a little bit interesting. I had to hire 12 people real fast, that became part of how all of this is going to be packaged,” said Ithen.
In the first 36 hours, Ithen sold more than 3,800 shirts on its website.
After costs for materials, labor and shipping, each shirt raised a little more than $6 per shirt. Today, they sent the synagogue a check for $25,000.
“Emotional and unexpected, and then I told her that I had a check that was for the first few days for $25,000, and she was speechless. She had no idea that that was even going to happen,” Ithen said.
Now, Ithen says it’s possible to put more money away per shirt. With set-up finished, the more they sell, the more they can give.
“Looked at the costs and saw this isn’t going to be $6. It’s higher. As we continued to run the numbers, it became $7.80 some cents,” Ithen said.
And shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.
If you would like to purchase a “Stronger Than Hate” t-shirt, visit their website here.