'Apart but together': College students unemployed due to coronavirus design t-shirts for charity

Two college students who recently lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus outbreak are now living in the Houston area.

They decided to use their free time to design t-shirts with 100 percent of the proceeds going to charity. Chris Rodriguez and Grant Rosado, both age 21, decided to make a positive impact out of a negative situation.

“We realized man that kind of blows that we lost our jobs, but we were thinking that must really be bad for the people who really live paycheck to paycheck. For that maybe don’t have somewhere secure to go, they don’t have proper housing and we were thinking of a way that we could possibly help these people,” says Rodriguez.

The two were inspired by alumni who took action to help those in need after the Boston Marathon bombings.

“The two kids who did the Boston bombing T-shirts, “Boston Strong”, they also went to Emerson. So we actually heard about their story, and like we could actually do something similar to help people in a similar time.“ says Rosado.

They started designing t-shirts and made a website. Within two weeks “Apart But Together” or ABT was launched.

“We wanted to show all of the different nations, especially the ones that are most affected by the virus, and the pandemic, and then we also decided that we should show the different states within the United States," Rodriguez says.

The design is simple but meaningful. It’s the country or state you chose a map of the works inside of it. The message “Apart But Together” is translated depending on the country that is chosen. Rosado and Rodriguez have decided that 100 percent of the proceeds from their t-shirt sales will be donated to United Way.

Rosado thought it was important to show people that the younger generation cares.

“There is a bad rap about young people going around and not caring, but I think that’s just they just get all the attention because they are the few irresponsible ones that are doing it. But a lot of people do, all the people in my classes care, all my friends because there’s a few and why because we are apart in this but we are together," he said.

“We should all come together and help people who really need it right now, because there are so many people whose lives were just turned upside down within a span of a week," Rodriguez added.

The guys behind ABT are hoping to sell 1,000 shirts as a short term goal and say they will keep up with the demand if sales go beyond that. If interested you can order a shirt online on their website apartbuttogether.org.