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New NWT Strong clothing line raising funds for United Way

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A northern-based communications agency has launched its own line of NWT Strong shirts and hoodies to raise funds for United Way NWT.

Outcrop Communications said all net profits from sales will be donated to United Way, which routes funding to other organizations that help evacuees.

The initiative differs from one already launched by the designer of an NWT Strong logo popularized across Facebook in recent weeks, which also fundraises for United Way.

Nearly 70 percent of the NWT’s population is currently displaced because of evacuation orders.

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If items sell well, Outcrop says it may be able to donate 45 percent of sales.

The clothing line is intended to be worn with pride, serving as a reminder that, in the face of unforeseen circumstances and unparalleled challenges, the people of the Northwest Territories demonstrate their strength and unity as a community,” a press release states.

“We felt it’s important that this initiative is led by northerners, supporting our northern communities,” Jen Hayward, chief executive officer of Outcrop Communications, was quoted as saying.

United Way NWT said it has so far distributed $760,000 to organizations supporting wildfire evacuees from across the territory since May. The list of organizations supported is not published until the group’s annual report is filed each spring.

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“The United Way NWT greatly appreciates this generous initiative from Outcrop Communications and the support of many other northern organizations that have donated their time and resources to aid the tens of thousands of northerners under evacuation orders,” David Connelly, chair of United Way NWT’s emergency response committee, was quoted as saying.

Graphic designer Patrick Kitchen, who was born and raised in Yellowknife and now lives in Red Deer, Alberta, earlier created an NWT Strong logo that has been adopted by many residents on Facebook.

Kitchen is selling NWT Strong merchandise to raise funds for United Way NWT.

Kitchen told Cabin Radio United Way NWT receives 25 percent of the profits from the sale of hats, stickers and clothing bearing his logo, which features a bison head, flames and the NWT coat of arms.