Wes Fireman’s creative thinking kicked into gear when he had to come up with a business idea for his fourth-grade summer project. He loves golf and knew right away that his idea had to be related. After some brainstorming with his parents and seeing the prevalence of PRIDE flags around his town and neighborhood back in June during Pride Month, he decided that he would make special golf tees incorporating the PRIDE colors and donate his proceeds to an organization that supported the LGBTQ+ community.
Wes went into production mode, creating a stockpile of these colorful tees before opening up for sale. Given that the pandemic presented some in-person challenges this past summer, he made use of his mom’s Instagram account to promote his little business he called “ChariTEES.” Instagram proved to be just the right selling vehicle, expanding his reach well beyond Massachusetts and to people who had serendipitously found out about his product. To fulfill the high demand he generated, Wes elicited the help of family members to assist with production and mom and dad for delivery assistance. Selling for $1 a piece, Wes raised $1624 by the end of the summer. At that point he was ready to choose an organization, and with a bit of online research with the help of his mom, he ultimately chose Fenway Health, whose mission is to provide health care and support services to the LGBTQ+ community. Wes wrote a letter to accompany his check to the CEO.
Fenway Health was so grateful and excited about his project that they wanted to continue the relationship. The VP of Resource Development and Donor Engagement for Fenway Health, Cheryl Katon, reached out to Wes asking if he’d be willing to do the opening speech at the AIDS Walk Boston and share the story of ChariTEES. He got some great speech pointers from Cheryl directly, and on Sunday, September 26th, he spoke in front of hundreds of people at the start of the walk. Fenway Health shared Wes’s story with the Red Sox organization and they gave him four tickets to the Red Sox/Yankees game the night before the walk.
What a big impact these small little tees had for both Wes and Fenway Health!