Thanks to the success of sales of T-shirts displaying an eye-catching and inspiring message, the St. Anthony Regional Cancer Center distributes free gas cards to 33 patients to reduce their travel costs for treatment – in addition to putting a little light in their day during a stormy period in their lives.
Market on Maple, operated by Jill Woodward from her family’s home near Carrollton – between Dedham and Willey – sold the shirts bearing the “Stronger Than the Storm” message throughout June.
After the gas card presentation at the Cancer Center last week, Woodward told The Times Herald that sales of more than 100 shirts were “much more than I expected.” It was exciting.
“They were very well received,” she said. “A lot of people liked the design and the whole concept. I love seeing them on people I don’t even know.
Woodward said the “storm” in the post “is a metaphor for whatever you’re fighting against, whether it’s cancer, bullying, mental health awareness, whatever. It’s suitable for a wide variety because we wanted to reach as many people as possible.
For Woodward, she saw cancer touch generations in her own family. At the presentation, his mother, Roxie Reinart, and grandmother Rose Becker, both of Carroll, were present. Reinart, 55, just marked six months cancer-free after undergoing radiation therapy and chemotherapy at the Cancer Center. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2021, just before her 54th birthday.
“Those are the worst words a person can hear,” Reinart said after being told of her diagnosis.
Becker, 73, who retired after working as a home staff for New Hope and Home Care Options, has been cancer-free for five years after battling breast cancer and skin cancer.
The cancer ran even further in the family.
Becker’s mother, Anna Hartl, died of breast cancer at age 59, and her grandmother Ursula Phalhammer died of stomach cancer at age 86.
Woodward said donating the t-shirts honors her mother’s struggle and journey in helping others fight this fight.
Market on Maple is an e-commerce made-to-order clothing business that Woordward started in 2010 in the toy room of the family’s small Maple Street home in Carroll.
Market on Maple started out as Etsy, and Woodward still hosts two “shops” on Etsy — one for clothing here and one for her digital designs. She launched her standalone site www.MarketonMaple.com in 2017.
After the business outgrew space at home on Maple Street, Woodward had a retail store in Thomas Plaza from 2017 to 2018, but when her family moved to an area between Dedham and Willey they moved back to a home business.
Woodward is assisted by her daughters: Savanah, 13, an eighth grader at Carroll Middle School; Brianna, 11, a sixth-grade CMS student; and Emma, 9, a fourth-grade Adams Elementary. They help organize merchandise, design, market (“make great models,” Woodward said), prepare designs for transfer and packaging. She credits Savanah for recently suggesting a more efficient and cost-effective way to make one of her bestsellers.
Plus, Jill’s husband, Shawn, an operator at Aspinwall Co-op, helps out during the busy holiday season.
“I’m very lucky to have such a supportive family,” Woodward said. “They really allowed me to turn this small business into more than I could have ever imagined.”
With such surprising popularity of “Stronger Than the Storm” shirts as well as the potential to help cancer patients, Woodward recently decided to reopen their sales.
The shirts – youth small to adult 4XL – are cotton-polyester and available in teal, pink, green, yellow, blue, purple, orange, black, gray and white. The lettering style on the shirts is a bubble, retro, wavy font with distress. And see if you can find the little design of a flamingo in the lettering. Woodward included this little touch in memory of one of his mother’s friends.
Shirts are $15 each and shipping is $3 regardless of the number of shirts. Pickup or delivery is offered.
Woodward said she loves fundraising and it’s a fun project to honor her family.
“I hope this puts a smile on someone’s face,” she said.
The gas cards are worth $25 each, and the Cancer Center has started randomly presenting them to patients.
Woodward and his mother, Reinart, told Cancer Center staff that they don’t want any income guidelines on who gets a card.
Reinart, who is director of the director of Carroll Community of Concern, which offers a county pantry, said: ‘When you’re going through treatment, when something like a gas card is offered to you, it’s just important to to brighten someone’s day.
Lori Pietig, director of cancer services at St. Anthony, said during the presentation that patients at the center come from a 17-county region.
“Many of our patients make multiple trips to the center, and with gas prices the way they have been, it’s amazing what we can do to help, and we greatly appreciate their efforts in supporting our mission to care. patients,” she said. said. “It’s so meaningful, to help so many people.”
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