Recent AU alumna sells WONK merchandise for coronavirus relief and Black Lives Matter movement
All proceeds from merchandise will go toward COVID-19 relief and organizations supporting racial justice
After witnessing the strain that the coronavirus was causing on the D.C. community, a 2020 AU graduate chose to design and sell WONK merchandise as an agent for change.
Christina Fluharty was a resident assistant for three semesters during her time at AU. She heard from her freshmen residents that they wanted WONK merchandise, which has been sold in the past by AU students.
“I was like ‘Yeah I’ll make them, I’ll make them,’” Fluharty said. “But now I’ll make them for a cause.”
Fluharty decided to use WONK merchandise to raise money for COVID-19 relief. Fluharty used the same design of past WONK merchandise, which uses a similar typography as Yale University’s recognizable merchandise.
Fluharty said that she sold 165 sweatshirts and long-sleeve t-shirts for COVID-19 relief, raising over $900. The proceeds are going to hospital workers in both D.C. and New York City.
Soon after her first order ended for COVID-19, the Black Lives Matter movement became central to international conversation, following the recent killings of Black citizens such as George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Fluharty decided that she could create a positive change by donating proceeds of a second WONK merchandise order to organizations supporting racial justice.
For the Black Lives Matter design, Fluharty kept the same WONK lettering as the coronavirus merchandise, but she added #BlackLivesMatter on the back of the sweatshirts and T-shirts. The proceeds for this merchandise will go to the American Civil Liberties Union and Black Lives Matter. Fluharty said that if a person has a preference as to where they would like their money to go, she will honor that request.
Fluharty said that she will keep orders open for the campaigns as long as there is an interest in the merchandise. She emphasized that the merchandise is inclusive to all sizes, ranging from XS to 4XL. T-shirts cost $25.99 and sweatshirts cost $35.99.
“I know a lot of AU students are fortunate enough to have the extra money,” Fluharty said. “So, if I can help them funnel it to where it needs to go, if I’m that middle man, and you get an awesome sweatshirt that everybody wants in the meantime, that’s what I’m here to do.”