The Peace T-Shirt Project

April 23rd

Peace T-Shirt Project

Last summer when I traveled to Africa I was lucky enough to deliver hundreds of goody bags bloggers put together for orphans in need. It was a wonderful and yet exceptionally frustrating experience. The customs officials in Mozambique were none too pleased I was bringing in “commercial goods” without a formal tax letter, etc. It took quite a bit of arguing and promising I wasn’t going to sell toothbrushes on the black market for the goods to finally leave the airport and make there way to the orphanage.

Peace T-Shirt Project

So, this summer I thought I’d go about things a bit differently. What could be put in my suitcase and not seem out of place? T-shirts. The Nicaraguans and Mozambicans I work with live on less than $1 per day — the World Bank marker for extreme poverty. They get their clothing through a complicated route and it has been my experience that regardless of color, fit or style, folks are tickled pink to receive a new (to them) piece of clothing. I save my clothes during the year that would otherwise go to Goodwill and instead take them on my trips. When I’m done wearing them, I hand-wash the best I can and pass them on to someone else. I try to do this in a respectful way, fully recognizing that hand-me-downs can be a rude pat on the head. The friends I’ve made through international travels have always been pleased.

Peace T-Shirt Project

If you are interested in participating, I’ll be taking as many T-shirts as I can to Nicaragua in May and Mozambique in June. A T-shirt provides a creative canvas for those who want to decorate, and the opportunity for the non-crafty folk who want to play along by sending one they want to share. I’ve got a couple ideas for onesies (orphanages in both locales) and for adults. I would like to give that freezer paper technique a whirl.

The details:
1. Please send only two things: a new T-shirt of any size (I’ll be working with newborns to the elderly) and a 3×5 card with a note on why you wanted to participate. If you want to include a photo/prayer/quote on your card, great! No card? That’s fine too. The card motivation is to let the recipient know there is someone in the world who wants a better life for them, even if all we can do in this moment is share a shirt and perhaps some peace in the process.
If you want your shirt to go to Nicaragua, please write the note in Spanish on one side. If you want it to go to Mozambique, please write the note in Portuguese. Here is a good translation program.

2. In return I’ll send you a thank you along with photos of those the T-shirt project benefited. I’ll provide a more detailed story of the typical Nicaraguan and Mozambican who benefited from your kindness. I’ll be forever indebted.

3. Shirts must be to me in Arizona by May 25th.

4. Email me for shipping details: africankelli at gmail dot com

Peace T-Shirt Project

I’ve received great support from bloggers, friends and family in the past and I don’t have any doubts the mailman is going to be crazy busy once again. I am so thankful for your participation. {And if you are new around here thanks to Craft, welcome! Nice to meet you!}


Posted in
Africa, CAOK, Journal, Travel
Follow the comments.

42 Responses

  1. I’m all for this idea, Kelli! I’ll send you a t-shirt for each location, Nicaragua and Mozambique.

  2. Dude! You got tipped by Craft! You are officially a rock star.

    And I still have my goodie bags that never made it to you last year… I was waiting for you to clear out some closet space and have another trip in the near future. Would you still like them or should I recycle them for a local agency?

    Count us in on the t-shirts.

  3. Count me in! I may be sending more than 1 though! I have a feeling a few of my friends will want to help!

  4. Can I help open the boxes again?!

    You can count me in to contribute.

  5. Yay! Max and I will decorate a few t-shirts and send them to you!

  6. I’m in!

  7. Cristina April 23, 2008

    Count me in too πŸ™‚ You are amazing.

  8. yay! I’ll be there. I love the last pic of the boys…they look so tough.

  9. Awesome! Is there going to be a limit on how many you can bring in?

  10. Ahh my friend! Another great idea! πŸ™‚ I leave Saturday for DR and I am FULL with bags from family, friends and co-workers(have already distributed some around to my travel partners). It was such a great idea I “borrowed” from you that I’m hoping I have room for clothes! As soon as I get back, I’ll get on the t-shirt train for you. πŸ™‚

  11. I think this is a great idea. I would love to send a tshirt. (you may have an avalanche of them-is there a limit?) Do we decorate them or no – or either? Should they be gender neutral or does it not matter?

  12. Me!!!
    Is it OK if I just buy a bunch if new t-shirts?

    Wow, I know somebody FAMOUS!!

  13. What a great idea. I’m going to see how many other peopl ein my area want to participate, and hopefully we’ll combine all our shirts into one shipment to you.

  14. This is an awesome idea. I will see if I can come up with something in time. πŸ™‚

  15. I’m in once again, that’s for sure! I’ll send you my t-shirt next week. Thanks for letting us help you helping others………….

  16. Kelli, don’t be mad, i stole one of these photos to post this on my blog!!!

    I’ll be sending t-shirts… should i send them to your address?

  17. You know I’m in :o) Jordan has so many almost-new shirts he’s out-grown.


  18. I’m in. Just let me know where to mail to.

  19. You have great ideas. That freezer paper technique looks really cool! Do you prefer solid color shirts? (Also, did you get any apron orders!?)

  20. Love it! I was wondering if you’d be gathering up gifts for your incredible journey. Thanks for letting us participate!

  21. Awesome! I am totally in!…Does it matter how many t-shirts we send you?

  22. What a great idea!! I’m totally in, and I know my husband and stepkids would love to participate as well.

  23. Count me in again. It’ll be fun for DS to help me decorate some shirts. I’ve been trying to impress upon him just how fortunate he is. This will be a great lesson. Thanks for letting us help! πŸ™‚

  24. Larissa Stretton April 24, 2008


    Sign me up!! A T will be in da mail to you (although could you send your address again? Don’t seem to have it handy!)

    Thank you once again for helping our caring hands stretch around the globe.


  25. What an awesome project. I am SO in:):)

  26. Hi Kelli
    Such beautiful children!
    June told us about this wonderful project on her blog. I’d love to send some t-shirts. Please send the details…thanks!

  27. I’d like to be in on this also. Do I need to decorate it or can it just be a few new t shirts?

    Send me your address. What a wonderful thing you are doing!

  28. What about onesies for little ones? Does that fit t-shirt criteria and are they wanted or needed? I’d love to send some your way!

  29. Jennifer D April 28, 2008

    Count me in! I’ve got your address from before unless you’ve moved or something πŸ™‚ My daughter says she thinks that you should win an award for all you do for others. You’re an inspiration!

  30. Mearaid April 28, 2008

    I would love participate. Please send me your shipping details.

  31. First Craft, now Whip up! ( You’re on a roll!

    This is a great project! Count me in!

  32. Count me in too. I thinking of doing some kokeshi prints

  33. How could I not take part in this!I will email shortly for shipping details.
    Thank you for providing a way to share our luck with others not quite as lucky.

  34. Hi Kelli–

    Please include me. I don’t seem to have your mailing address handy.


  35. I came by way of Junie Moon’s & would love to help out; this is so timely, since my teenaged son just went thru a growth spurt & all his nearly new tshirt are too short πŸ™‚

  36. jane kiel May 4, 2008

    We are very happy to help it out!

    God bless you,


  37. You’re awesome! My kids and I love to help with things like this. I’ll send you a note to get the mailing info. God Bless you Kelli-Man do you make a positive difference in this world!


  38. Sounds like a plan!
    I’m going to get painting and send you some ASAP!
    what a wonderful idea!