26 Shirts holds Courage of Carly in Bills Mafia.
Since he started the Bills Mafia movement with a couple friends in 2011, 26 Shirts Founder Del Reid has made it known that the Mafia gear has deep ties to Courage of Carly. Today, 8% of Mafia sales are donated to the Courage of Carly Fund to support programs for pediatric patients and their families who seek care at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Where it all Began.
“It all dates back to when I was working at Roswell Park,” Del said. He dedicated over 14 years of his career to the Roswell Park mission through his role in IT. At the time 26 Shirts was something he did on the side, not knowing what it would become more than a decade down the road.
“In 2011 the Bills Mafia movement kind of began,” he explained. “We were selling T-shirts and little merchandise items and people were asking, ‘Is this Bills Mafia thing just about selling T-shirts?’ and we were like, ‘No! Not at all!’”
That very same day, Del went straight to the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation offices — just two floors up from where he worked — and made an incredible commitment. From that day forward, all Bills Mafia gear would benefit the Courage of Carly Fund through the Alliance Foundation.
Choosing Courage of Carly.
Del didn’t choose Roswell Park, or the Courage of Carly Fund more specifically, on a whim.
“The reason Courage of Carly was the angle we wanted to go with was because my wife was Carly’s cousin,” he said. Their family, like too many families, was all too familiar with the devastating loss of a child after a battle with cancer.
“Pediatric cancer in general is such a thief to parents and families, so I want to do what I can to help in that area. Once 26 Shirts took off, I wanted to make sure that Courage of Carly remained part of that Bills Mafia legacy.”
Mission Comes First.
It’s no accident that Del built a mission-centered business. His focus is on the people and families of Western New York and how his company can help them. Each T-shirt and many other items in their shop benefit different, focused causes. 26 Shirts is a testament to neighbors lifting up neighbors. It just so happens that the Mafia line is dedicated to Roswell Park and Courage of Carly.
“Roswell Park is at the forefront of any kind of cancer research, treatment, anything going on in Western New York,” Del said. “Having been the nation’s first cancer center, they have a long history of that. I’ve seen firsthand the work that Roswell Park does and I know they can be trusted with the money that we send them.”
To date, 26 Shirts has contributed close to $70,000 to support the Courage of Carly Fund at Roswell Park. That’s an incredible sum, due not only to their generosity, but the heart of their customers, as well.
“Anything I can ever do to continue to help push Roswell Park’s mission forward, even if I’m not working there anymore, I’ll always take that opportunity.”
Thank you to Del and the 26 Shirts family for all they do to support the families lifted up by the Courage of Carly Fund and the entire WNY community!