T-shirt company stepping up to help Sevier County Sheriffs Deputy battling COVID-19

Appalachian Apparel Company will donate 100% of the proceeds to Sgt. Robert Stoffle and his family.
Appalachian Apparel Company is selling shirts to help benefit Sevier County Sheriffs Deputy Sgt. Robert Stoffle.
Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 10:25 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The owner of Appalachian Apparel Company Joey McKenney is no stranger to what the law-enforcement community goes through every day.

”Me having a background in law enforcement myself keeps me connected to law enforcement in the communities I do business,” said McKenney via Zoom on his way back from a family trip to the beach.

The former officer, now small business owner wanted to step in and help when he learned a fellow member in blue was sick with COVID-19.

“Actually, one of my employees in Pigeon Forge had asked if we could do something to raise money, put out a jar, take up donations, and I said ‘hey you know what let’s do a shirt and give them 100% of the profit’,” said McKenney.

Make a shirt they did. McKenney spent 15 minutes and made a shirt that all of the proceeds will help Sgt. Stoffle and his family pay for whatever insurance wont cover.

”It’s just a simple bold design to show him that we’re all rooting for him,” said McKenney.

In an interview with WVLT’s Sam Luther more than one week ago, Sgt. Stoffle’s wife said she believes the family is on the hook for 20% of his medical bills, which she expects to be rather significant.

The shirts will sell in store at Appalachian Apparel’s Pigeon Forge location for $15 but are also able to be purchased online for $18 with the increase to cover the cost of shipping.

”[We want] to make sure that he knows he’s got a huge support system in his corner and that were hoping and praying for him to continue to get better,” said McKenney.

McKenney hasn’t been able to total up how many shirts have been sold, and how much money has been raised, but he intends to have the shirts on-sale until mid-November.

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