MAKO Rangers get creative for charity

NSU’s MAKO Rangers are selling original Power Ranger-themed merchandise on Redbubble, an online artistic marketplace, to help raise money for the victims of Hurricane Matthew.

The MAKO Rangers is a service-based organization with a focus on service to children. Their name stands for Monumental Action through Kindness and Optimism.

Jake Bence, junior chemistry major and co-president of the MAKO Rangers, said, “We really work to put a smile on kid’s faces. We go to children’s hospitals dressed as superheroes, and we do a lot of the child-based events on campus, like a Day for Children.”

The MAKO Rangers began selling their original Power Ranger-themed designs earlier this semester as a way to keep their fundraising efforts going year-round.

Li Cohen, senior communication studies major and vice president of the MAKO Rangers, came up with the idea to design and sell MAKO Ranger’s merchandise online. She said she got the idea after completing a project for a graphic design course.

Cohen said, “I’m currently in Graphic Design I. Our first project was designing wrapping paper, and my professor, Tennille Shuster, told us about some websites where you can actually sell it. After doing some research online, I found Redbubble and thought that selling our custom designs would be a fun way to fundraise for our organization and donate some money to a charity.”

Redbubble is a web-based platform where artists and designers of all skill levels can upload and sell their artwork. Customers can order these designs on a number of products, including t-shirts, tank tops, phone cases, posters, stickers and much more.

According to Cohen, all proceeds raised from merchandise sales on Redbubble will be donated to the GlobalGiving Foundation’s Hurricane Matthew Relief Fund.

The GlobalGiving Foundation aims to provide individuals in Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica and the Bahamas with emergency survival supplies like food, clean drinking water and medicine. To donate directly to GlobalGiving’s Hurricane Matthew Relief Fund, visit globalgiving.org/projects/hurricane-matthew-relief-fund/?rf=pr.

Although the MAKO Rangers have not set a specific monetary goal for their fundraising efforts, they hope that students will take advantage of this unique fundraising opportunity to help the thousands of individuals affected by Hurricane Matthew.

Cohen does the majority of the designing for this fundraiser and has created custom merchandise for the pink, red, green, blue, black, white and yellow Power Rangers. Bence said that the designs are gaining popularity online, and they have already begun making sales.

“It’s actually been pretty successful so far. Our pink ranger design already has a couple hundred views.  We’ve also had a few purchases from our club members, as well as anonymous purchases too,” said Bence.

“We want to raise as much money as possible for those who suffered from Hurricane Matthew. South Florida got incredibly lucky to not be severely impacted by this storm, and we believe that our community should use that luck to help those who were. Buying a custom MAKO Rangers product isn’t just buying a cool product, it’s buying materials needed to shelter, clothe and feed the hurricane victims in Haiti,” said Cohen.

For more information or to view the designs available for purchase, visit redbubble.com/people/lc1456.

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