EAST LANSING, Mich. – Many of us want to help the Michigan State University community heal, but don’t know how to -- so, an online retailer is stepping up.
The Coddiewomple Company is committing 100% of its sales for the rest of February to raise money for MSU students, staff and faculty who may need mental health resources to help them work through Monday night’s mass on-campus shooting.
The company creates apparel to end the stigma of mental health. In September, Suicide Awareness Month, they designed shirts and sweatshirts that said “Michigan State Needs You.” After the deadly mass shooting on the university’s campus Monday, Feb. 13, those designs take on a whole new meaning.
“Honestly, it makes me sad,” said Jacqueline Wolverton, owner of The Coddiewomple Company. “I mean, it makes me sad that we have this, and it fits in this situation, and it should never be that way.”
The name of the company is tied to its mission.
“Coddiewomple is English slang, and it means, ‘to travel purposely to a destination that’s yet unknown,’ which was always my interpretation of therapy,” Wolverton said.
Wolverton says 50% of sales go to The Coddiewomple Fund, a nonprofit she founded and is now the president of. The organization helps cover the costs of therapy.
Wolverton partners with mental health clinics like Mala Child and Family Institute in Plymouth. Hasti Raveau, clinic founder and director, believes the cost of therapy is more than just a barrier.
“It increases their stress level, and it just makes our overall functioning really hard,” said Raveau. “We have families who cancel sessions because they can’t afford to buy gas to even drive here.”
After the MSU campus shootings on Monday, Wolverton wanted to take action, and now instead of 50%, 100% of sales will go to a fund just for MSU.
“We can all band together and actually find solutions and not just thoughts and prayers, but here is a way that we can help these students and the faculty and, really, the community,” Wolverton said.
The money will be dispersed to clinics in the Lansing area.
Raveau has cousins who were on MSU’s campus when the deadly shootings happened, and said The Coddiewomple Company’s initiative means a lot.
“On a personal level, it’s the sense of just immense gratitude that somebody cares and somebody’s willing to take action and that we’re not going to wish by doing it,” Raveau said. “We’re saying we’re not going to forget about this and that the people that really need care.”
Wolverton says the fund doesn’t take the place of other changes she believes need to happen.
“I feel fortunate enough that I can use my platform to help, but I mean, the reality is that this needs to stop, and we shouldn’t have to have this sweatshirt is a point,” Wolverton said.
To shop The Coddiewomple Company, click here. Their next pop-up is on April 2 at the All Things Detroit event at Eastern Market.
For more information on the nonprofit, The Coddiewomple Fund, click here.