Rags of Honor is a company dedicated to bettering the lives of returning veterans through jobs, training, and support. We first told you about Rags of Honor in 2016, and we're hoping you will ask your readers, customers, suppliers, friends, and family to support the efforts of this exemplary organization by contributing to their GoFundMe page and by purchasing merchandise on their website. Achieving their fundraising goal will enable Rags of Honor to provide good jobs and a living wage to even more homeless and jobless veterans, and we can't encourage you strongly enough to support this most worthy cause.
At no time in American history has the burden of war been borne equally, but over the last two decades of conflict the sacrifice has been confined to one-half of one percent of the population. That small proportion of men and women risk—and sometimes give—their lives in service to this country. And some come back with physical and emotional wounds most of us can't begin to imagine. In the face of such sacrifice, it's disconcerting that providing 71 jobs made Rags of Honor the largest employer of homeless veterans in the country.
So perhaps a small sacrifice on their behalf is not too much to ask.
You can learn more about Rags of Honor here and at the websites below. If you do, we think you'll agree that their cause deserves the support of everyone in the garment-decoration industry.
The Rags of Honor Story
Chicago-based Rags of Honor was founded by Mark Doyle following a year in Afghanistan on an anti-corruption task force. When he returned home and saw “the unemployment rate, the rate of suicides, [and] the rate of homelessness among returning veterans”, Doyle decided he had to do something. That something was Rags of Honor. He started the company with his personal savings and with no real plan beyond his determination to provide employment and a living wage to homeless and unemployed veterans. Doyle does not take a salary, so 100% of each donation goes toward paying for machinery and supplies—and hiring more veterans.
Doyle began by putting six veterans on the payroll, but the company wouldn’t own a screen printing machine for the first nine months. Instead, the veterans spent eight months training on a small rented press in the basement of a screen printer and former Marine.
However, in the eleventh month, Rags of Honor was given a new manual press, and the team moved into a one-thousand square-foot facility. Since then, Rags of Honor has acquired an automatic press and moved to a ten-thousand square-foot space, printing shirts for local businesses, Big Ten Conference schools, the Chicago Cubs and Blackhawks, other professional sports teams, and the NFL.
Along the way, they decided to print on American-made shirts and adopted this motto: “They Had Our Backs. Let’s Keep the Shirt on Theirs”.
When asked about his goal for Rags of Honor, Doyle said, “The mission is simple: be the largest employer of homeless veterans in the country. But we’re going to take all veterans if they need a job. And if you want to help a veteran and you want to make a difference, just go to the Rags of Honor website (http://www.ragsofhonor.us/). Buy a T-shirt or give us some business—and you’ve just helped a vet.”
If you have questions about Rags of Honor—or wish to contribute equipment or supplies—please contact Mark Doyle at 312-520-8844 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to the magazine.