Barefoot Caring Council Monthly Spotlight


Hawaiian Shirts for Deployed Soldiers

The Hawaiian Shirts for Deployed Soldiers is a non-profit organization that began in March 2017, when a Greenville, South Carolina mom was asked by her son, who was deployed overseas, to send a few Hawaiian shirts to his base. When Rusty Carter wore his shirt, the guys on base had a good laugh, and it raised morale. Gwen Carter decided it would be her mission to send 300 shirts overseas to his troop, so she recruited help from her co-workers and on social media. Five years later, more than 32,000 shirts have been sent!

Shirts are sent in shipments of 120 per troop at a cost of just over $200 per shipment. Gwen sends a shipment every week, so she is always in need of shirts as well as monetary donations to cover shipping costs. Every shirt—and the money needed to ship it—has been donated by grateful Americans, most of whom are everyday citizens who have no connection to Rusty or Gwen but want to say thank you to our men and women overseas.

The Barefoot Caring Council is teaming up with the Barefoot Lifestyle Committee to collect Hawaiian shirts and money for this worthwhile cause at Barefoot’s golf cart parade on July 2nd. Kim Bell, the Caring Council’s chairperson for the Hawaiian Shirts for Deployed Soldiers initiative, will be collecting shirts along the parade route from her cart (which will be decorated Hawaiian-style). If you do not plan on attending the parade, you can drop off your donation at her home in Barefoot (Tanglewood #513, 6095 Catalina Drive) in the days before the parade. If you would like to sponsor a shirt for $5.00, Kim has some available.

Money raised at the parade will go to shipping the shirts from Barefoot to Hawaiian Shirts for Deployed Soldiers; any remaining money will be sent along with the shirts to cover packing and overseas shipping costs.

If you know of someone serving in any branch of the military overseas and would like them (and their troop) to receive a shipment, please contact Gwen by private message on Facebook Messenger. She will gladly add their name to the waitlist, provided they will be overseas long enough to receive the shirts when their name comes up.

If you have any questions about this initiative, you may contact Kim at 724-875-3016 or email her at Please add Hawaiian shirts to the subject line. Or, you may contact the Barefoot Caring Council at If you would like to know more about Hawaiian Shirts for Deployed Soldiers’ mission and other ways to donate, please visit their Facebook page.