Island Senior: Local Artist’s T‑Shirt Sales Support Local Seniors

Posted May 1, 2020 at 7:04 am by

Island Senior is a reg­u­lar col­umn on the San Juan Update writ­ten by Peg­gy Sue McRae…

Jen­nifer Rigg and Ran­dolph — Con­tributed photo

With com­mu­ni­ty lunch­es on hold due to COVID-19 it may seem like not much is hap­pen­ing these days at the Mullis Cen­ter. How­ev­er, since the lock­down, the num­ber of meals deliv­ered to local seniors by our Meals on Wheels nutri­tion pro­gram has more than dou­bled and is expect­ed to increase fur­ther. Meals are deliv­ered for a dona­tion. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, dona­tions have been declin­ing. This is where local hero, artist Jen­nifer Rigg steps in.

Many islanders know Jenn’s work from the beau­ti­ful­ly silk-screened T‑Shirts she makes and sells every sum­mer at the San Juan Coun­ty Fair. We col­lect them, wear them, and give them as gifts. Jenn has been design­ing and print­ing T‑shirts since she was 14.

Says Jenn, “I loved whales and there were not too many whale designs I liked at the time, so I made my own. Oth­er folks liked my designs as well and I’ve been for­tu­nate over the years to make a liv­ing on this small island sell­ing my art”.

Ted Strutz In Sep­a­rate­To­geth­er T‑Shirt — Ted Strutz photophoto

Jenn has designed a shirt to help our seniors through COVID-19. She said “[I want­ed] to cre­ate a focal point on the “US” instead of the virus. While so many are feel­ing scared and sep­a­rat­ed right now, I want to try to cre­ate a sense of togeth­er­ness to keep every­one hope­ful — sep­a­rate, but togeth­er.” This shirt can be pur­chased online at LOEA sep­a­rate­to­geth­er and is avail­able in four dif­fer­ent styles.

Eighty per­cent of the pro­ceeds go to sup­port our local Meals on Wheels pro­gram. The remain­ing twen­ty per­cent is ear­marked for essen­tial house­hold goods to be deliv­ered to island seniors in need. You can also sup­port Lopez and Orcas Senior pro­grams by choos­ing those island spe­cif­ic designs with more com­mu­ni­ties par­tic­i­pat­ing now as well. Check the Mullis Cen­ter web­site for updat­ed infor­ma­tion. To date the project has raised over $3,000. Thank you Jenn!

When I asked Jenn what gave her the idea to do some­thing for seniors she told me that she got to know her grand­fa­ther bet­ter last year when she helped him move into an assist­ed liv­ing home. It proved to be a valu­able expe­ri­ence for her.

It was a priv­i­lege and hon­or to get to know my grand­fa­ther more, to help him through that time, and to be reward­ed in return with a pre­cious gift… to be remind­ed that we all should slow down more. Stop being so “busy” all the time. Life moves so fast these days and I feel that our elders don’t have our atten­tion like they once did. They have a lot of per­spec­tive to offer, which we all could use, espe­cial­ly in times like these!”

Link to: The Mullis Center
Link to: LOEA sep­a­rate­to­geth­er

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One comment...

  1. Jen­nifer Rig­gs’ extra­or­di­nary tal­ent con­tin­ues with design of Sep­a­rate­to­geth­er t‑shirt, sup­port­ing Meals on Wheels program.

    Comment by beatrice carla wright on May 1, 2020 at 7:51 am

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