WACO, TX — A Central Texas first responder is helping other first responders by selling his own apparel, including a shirt based on the recent Storm Area 51 event craze.
For the last 20 years, Steven Sanders has done nothing but save lives and lend a helping hand as a first responder. In the last three years, he has used his passion for apparel to help other first responders who are in need.
"To me it feels better to help our own because we always help other people," Sanders said, "Nobody takes care of us sometimes and that's what I want to to do. I want to help our own."
This all started because Sanders needed to raise $60,000 for a hearing surgery he needs. "I've been deaf all of my life, and it's getting worse," said Sanders.
Even though he has raised some funds for surgery through his apparel company, not a single dollar has gone towards his own medical needs. "Those people to me -- need it more than me," said Sanders.
His business, Black Cloud Apparel, has attracted people from all around the world. Sanders has raised over $9,000 and has helped nearly 15 first responders in need.
"I helped a paramedic out of Temple who was diagnosed with cancer and was off work for a long time doing chemo. I was able to do a fundraiser shirt for her to give her some breathing room so she could pay her bills," said Sanders, "A paramedic who lost his leg in a terrible accident while on-duty, I was able to help him."
Will Sanders ever save money for his own surgery? "I don't think I can," said Sanders, "My biggest dream is to have my own print shop so that I can continue doing what I love to do - to keep helping everybody else."
After the Storm Area 51 event went viral on Facebook, Sanders decided to take advantage of the phenomenon and designed an Area 51 Rescue Squad shirt that also reads "No Alien Left Behind," on the back.
In the four days since the shirt has been available, Sanders said Black Cloud Apparel has received more than 100 orders.
The shirts are $20.51 and can be found on the Black Cloud Apparel website.