Just when I was really starting to come to my whits end and for a fleeting moment, thought my city may not get back to the glorious Detroit I grew up in, this ray of sunshine comes along! Oh joy!
While waiting for a dinner table with my roomie, he asked me about buying clothes; specifically, buying clothes from a friend. Over the years a few of my friends have ventured off into the fashion world and although I’m usually down for the cause, wouldn’t run out and invest in any of their designs; just not my speed. After a non-specific nod and snarky response, my comrade finally divulged what he was getting at and as always with these talks, I was pleasantly surprised! Call it a generation gap or an east/west side cultural difference but, my roomie grew up with a few guys who ended up going into the fashion industry as well and unlike my crew (love them to death, but…) their gear is pretty damn fly! First, I discover he’s friends with the creator of “Detroit vs. Everybody” and then he hits me over the head with this. He turned his phone to show me a simple tee shirt the reads: work hard, pray hard-er that one of his friends designed and asked me if I’d be interested in buying one. Uh, yea! Its no secret that this is slowly becoming a dark world full of so much negativity and misery and although many of us do all we can to keep him in our hearts, minds and spread his good word, the presence of God seems to be masked by the madness and mayhem, so to see a shirt that stated such a bold message on a shirt, designed by a fellow Detroiter and had a charitable cause behind it!? I had to know more!
Will Ford, a Detroit native took his passion for making a positive difference in the the world and turned it into an initiative which he calls “The Will Ford Project”. After speaking with the young hustler, his story became a little more interesting to me and vision a smidge clearer.
“I got the whole idea of selling shirts years ago, I just really didn’t know how to go about doing it…” said Ford in a digital (Facebook, if you must know) interview. “Not a lot of people will walk around with a shirt that says ‘I love God’ on it unfortunately. So, after dumbing it down I came up with ‘Work Hard Pray Harder’ which is something I truly live by”.
Heaven help me if a sense of hustle along with the love of the Lord isn’t just what we need in this sick and twisted world. Back to the story, hustle and tee at hand, things got a little more interesting when I actually took a look at Ford’s site to see what all the hype and hustle was about. If you take a look at his web page, you’ll notice that there’s a red “stamp” that informs customers that five dollars of your purchase will be donated to The Angel House to help put an end to domestic violence.
As much as I love my city, we all know that its not exactly known for having a spotless reputation and for damn sure doesn’t carry the rep of being the most peaceful place to lay your head. What’s worse is that over the years “we” have become so immune to it that even though it breaks your heart, few actually flinch or drop a tear when we turn on the news and see that someone else has been shot, stabbed, gutted in the street, etc. Tragic; but its the state of affairs we find ourself in. More catered to the topic, with so much going on in the city and the powers that be working from so many different angles trying to get things back in order and restore the city to its glory days, something like domestic violence is usually forgotten. In knowing this, it was really deep and almost shocking to see that an organization dedicated to help rescue (so to speak) women from abusive situations and provide them the help they need was a shock; a pleasant one though!
Its stories like this (the tees), people like this guy (Mr. Ford) and organizations like this one (The Angel House) that give me hope that maybe, with prayer, faith, trust and a little pixie dust we as a people just might be okay! Contrary to the common view, I believe the world is still a beautiful place with good people in it. Sappy shit aside, go out and support this cause and this young man’s hustle! “Work Hard. Pray Hard-Er” shirts are available for a mere $20 at The Will Ford Project and if you want to make a [tax deductible] donation to The Angel House, check them out here.