Local business has a social component

2012-10-03T15:30:00Z Local business has a social componentRob Earnshaw Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
October 03, 2012 3:30 pm  • 

A new family-owned business has a philanthropic angle that will help local school children in need.

3C Wear LLC was founded by Yanina Gomez, a school psychologist for the School City of Hammond, and her husband, artist Sergio Gomez, to address the needs of school children in low-income communities.

For every product it sells, 3C Wear uses part of the earnings to give a basic school supply kit or school uniform top to a child in need.

The Dyer couple came up with the idea after attending a church conference two years ago featuring guest speaker Blake Mycoskie, the founder of Toms Shoes, an online store with a social component. For every pair of shoes it sells, Toms Shoes gives a free pair to a person in need.

Yanina Gomez, who from working with local children for more than 10 years saw a need for school supplies and clothing among them, wanted to duplicate Mycoskie’s idea locally. Because the Gomezes owned an art gallery in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago, the Dyer couple decided to combine the arts with their philanthropic purpose.

Artists from their gallery, 33 Contemporary, create original designs for T-shirts, which are then sold in an online store, which 3C Wear opened in March. Next year it plans to introduce a clothing line for children between the ages of 5 and 10.

“Our goal is to give out 500 school supply kits by the end of this year,” Yanina Gomez said. “We have already distributed 25 kits.”

3C Wear is currently focusing on Hammond school children and is partnering with local churches to identify children in need. Inspired Giving Days are planned twice a year, once at the beginning of the school year and again in December. The first was in August at Calvary Temple Church in Hammond.

3C, which means “care plus commit equals change,” plans to target Chicago school children as it grows.

“For years I have witnessed the need for school supplies and uniforms among various children in the school district,” Yanina Gomez said. “They have inspired us to start this company so, along with our customers, we can help meet those ongoing needs. As we grow we will expand our area of impact.”

For more information visit www.3cwear.com .

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