Friends Students Make a Difference With “Rona Relief”

Juniors Augie Wiggin and Sam Burgunder spent quarantine fundraising for a local food bank.


Courtesy of 'Rona Relief website

Sam and Augie, before quarantine

This has been a hard time for everybody. The coronavirus has affected everyday life in a way none of us could have ever predicted.

But two students in the Friends community didn’t sit back and watch as quarantine passed by. Instead, they turned COVID-19 into an opportunity to make a difference.

These two students are Augie Wiggin ‘21 and Sam Burgunder ‘21, and they created “Rona Relief.”

Augie and Sam invited the community to participate through an email sent to the whole school. On their website, the logo proudly states “own the curve” at the top of the page. Not far under it, in bright, optimistic letters, the phrase “let’s beat COVID” is emblazoned across the screen.

Then, there are the shirts. There are 20 designs total for adults, and some for kids and babies as well. The bestseller, according to the founders, is the Maryland Crab Classic Tee, which twists hometown pride into a way to make a difference. The designs cover a wide array of styles, and there is truly something for everyone – including mugs, reusable tote bags, and stickers to show support.

But these products aren’t for personal gain. The website promises that 100% of the proceeds will go to GEDCO cares, a local food bank that is very active in Baltimore and helps those who are in need of food. Right now, that service is more important than ever, because volunteers and donations are scarce.

“We both realized that at this moment there is a heightened need for food, especially in our community,” says Sam, one of the co-founders. “The hard thing about this is that we couldn’t just go out and volunteer. We brainstormed for a while and came up with the idea to sell shirts and other apparel to raise money for GEDCO cares. I think the thing that motivated us the most was that it was for others.”

‘Rona Relief has been extremely successful in achieving what it planned to do. In an update, the founders shared that they had raised $1,000 in just days. And the sales haven’t stopped.

It’s incredible to see that in a time when one isn’t allowed to even see other people, two students took it upon themselves to do as much as they can to help those in need. Having the sensibility to not only look out for their own health and wellbeing, but for others in the community too is awe-inspiring and shows true depth of character. With time losing meaning and days going slowly, it’s definitely worth it to take a look at ‘Rona Relief.