O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith

T-shirt Promotion: Be Like Me

I’m not sure how to soften this with any measure of humility, so I’ll just be blunt. My friends at Preemptive Love Coalition (the folks behind Buy Shoes, Save Lives) are doing a special t-shirt promotion called “Be Like Jason.” It’s entirely based around me and the t-shirt in the photo at right.

Um, what?

Many of my promotional photos feature me wearing a cool BSSL “Repeater” t-shirt. It’s one of my favorite shirts that I own, due to the nice design. And the great fit. The fact that it supports a fantastic organization is icing on the cake.

So BSSL has decided to take advantage of that visibility with a Get-a-shirt-like-Jason’s special. Here’s the deal:


You can get the BSSL Repeater Tee right now for $14.99. That’s 25% off the usual price of around $20. It’s a limited-time offer.


Why should you buy this shirt?

1. It’s a nice, soft fitted shirt with featuring sweet graphic design.

2. You’ve discovered it’s no longer a good idea to strive to be like Tiger, and you need a new role model. Or at least a new fashion model. So you should be like me.

3. By buying a shirt, you’re supporting a really great organization that helps little kids.

Why am I wearing a Buy Shoes, Save Lives shirt in my promotional photos anyway?

Here’s the story: A couple of years ago, a church near Waco brought me in for a weekend to speak to their college students. That weekend I met Jeremy Courtney, a former member of that church who had moved to Iraq and started up a non-profit organization there called Buy Shoes, Save Lives. The crazy thing was that, upon meeting Jeremy, he introduced me to his wife, Jessica — at which point I realized that I already knew Jessica Courtney. She was one of my little sister’s best friends in high school.

Small world.

But a great connection was made, because I was fascinated with the work Jessica and Jeremy were doing in Iraq. To explain it briefly, the organization operates out of northern Iraq — the Courtneys live there, with their kids — where they export authentic Kurdish footwear in order to fund heart surgeries for Iraqi kids. These shoes are called klash, and they’re completely handmade. I own a pair, and they make me look very cool. At least from the ankle down. (That’s where it counts, anyway.)

I ended up writing a piece about BSSL for Relevant Magazine back in 2007.

Now known by the umbrella organization Preemptive Love Coalition, BSSL brings the realms of fashion, social justice, interfaith cooperation, combating childhood illness, and radical peacemaking together under a single umbrella. Buy selling the shoes and t-shirt, they can pay for surgeries for kids who have heart problems due to their parents’ exposure to chemical attacks by Saddam Hussein back in the 1990s.

There are thousands of kids in Iraq waiting to have these surgeries. Jeremy’s goal for 2010 is to fund surgeries for 90 kids. It takes a few thousand dollars to do this. Your purchase of a shirt, or shoes, or whatever else helps this cause. No one’s making money on this: All profits from these sales go toward heart surgeries.

Please help me spread the word about this promotion, and go buy a shirt for yourself or a friend. Wear it on Christmas Eve. Stuff it in a stocking. Sport it in your publicity photos. Be like me.



Note: Those publicity photos above are by my friend Kyle Trafton, who is also a friend of BSSL and does excellent work.

Comments read comments(10)
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posted December 10, 2009 at 10:40 am

Hi, Jason. Can you comment on these shoes as compared to Toms shoes? Seems like a similar concept and just wanted your perspective.

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Jason Boyett

posted December 10, 2009 at 11:05 am

Felicity:Sure thing. Both TOMS and BSSL sell shoes in order to help people. TOMS provides shoes for poor children, while BSSL uses funds to pay for heart surgeries.Both shoes are based on indigenous footwear from another culture.TOMS is a great concept, and Jeremy at BSSL is a big fan of TOMS. The difference between the two companies is that TOMS shoes are now mass-produced in factories, based on the original model. However, all BSSL shoes are handmade by actual Kurdish artisans in Iraq. It takes many, many hours to make a single pair of klash. That's why BSSL sells them for about twice as much as TOMS — because they are NOT mass-produced.So not only do BSSL profits go toward surgeries, but the production directly benefits Kurdish shoemakers and supports their local economy. Several families get to eat because BSSL buys their shoes.That's a big difference, and that's why — given a choice — I'd go BSSL instead of TOMS.

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posted December 10, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Perfect. Thanks!

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