The Lung Transplant Foundation has opened an online shopping boutique in an effort to raise awareness about the Foundation and lung transplantation in general.
The store features shirts, pillows, blankets and pins with the Foundation’s logo and the slogan “Breathing Life Into Lung Transplant Research.”
“We hope to raise funds for research and operations and we also hope to connect people to the Lung Transplant Foundation,” said president Jeff Goldstein about the purpose of the online store. “And we also hope that people will wear the T-shirts and items and that that will encourage people to ask about us.”
Jeff got such an opportunity himself while wearing apparel from the Lung Transplant Foundation a few months ago.
“I was wearing a Lungapalooza T-shirt to the gym a couple months ago when I started thinking about this website store, and somebody in the gym came up to me and asked me, ‘What is Lungapalooza? I really like the T-shirt. What is it?’ And so I explained it to them and shared that I was a double-lung transplant recipient, and that gentleman was very, very interested and he’s subsequently made a donation and has agreed to help me with my development of a chapter of the Lung Transplant Foundation in Florida,” Jeff said.
Over the years, the Lung Transplant Foundation has produced T-shirts to commemorate various fundraising events. Its kiwi colored T-shirt, which debuted at Lungapalooza in 2013 and features a ribbon logo, has been among its most popular.
In 2014, the Foundation held a Casino Night, which — though wildly successful as a fundraising event — didn’t feature any T-shirts, which are popular with donors.
“This year, since we didn’t have Lungapalooza, we didn’t really produce a T-shirt, and we thought it would be good to make those available again” through the store, Jeff said.
In addition to T-shirts, the Foundation is offering a fleeced-lined sweatshirt, a lapel pin, and a blanket/pillow combo, a great buy for anyone who spends time in doctor’s offices or clinics.
“When I go to the transplant clinic, I always get teased because I wear a winter jacket no matter what time of year because the hospital is always so cold,” Jeff said. “So we developed a fleece blanket that folds into a pillow and we have the LTF logo embroidered on that and on the blanket. So if you’re traveling, like me, to your clinic, this is kind of like a blanket you’d get in first class on the airlines. It serves a dual purpose: You can use it as a pillow or you can use it as a blanket. I drape it over myself at the clinic and it helps me keep warm, and with the logo being pretty visible, it encourages people to ask about us.”
The LTF pin, which has been given to large donors or put in goodie bags at events, has never been offered for sale until now.
“The idea of the store was, ‘hey, here’s an opportunity to put all those items on the website, make them available to the people who support the Foundation, and encourage them to do so,” Jeff said.
If the store does well, the Foundation may expand its product line. Future merchandise could include coffee mugs and ski caps.
“We do want to see how people react to this and see whether it’s a worthy venture,” Jeff said. “There are other items that we would look to in the future – the type of things that would help remind people – should they purchase them for themselves or for gifts – of what we do.”