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Giving back to the Matson family with “Praying for Arik” shirts

Talia Milavetz
Created: February 21, 2020 06:37 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- When news broke that Waseca police officer Arik Matson was shot in the head while responding to a report of a suspicious person, people across the state stepped up to help. Including a mother-son duo in Alden. 
 
Trent and Lori Nelson run a vinyl printing business called 407 Designz. When Trent heard the news, he created a gray t-shirt with a Minnesota logo and the words “Praying for Arik”.
 
About 1200 of those t-shirts have been ordered across the country. 

"We knew we wanted to help out in some way trying to raise some funds,” said Lori. “We printed a couple and posted it on Facebook and it exploded.”
 
They took 600 orders in just ten hours. That was all they could make in their small studio. But more and more people wanted to buy shirts and show their support.
 
The Nelsons reached out to Tiger City Sports in Albert Lea to take over from there. They had access to a silkscreen system that was better equipped to meet the growing demand. 
 
"He offered to do it for only the cost of the shirt so we were charging 15 for the shirt so that means 12 dollars was going back to the family,” said Lori. 
 
That doubled their sales. 
 
"Arik's family is gonna be happy,” said Trent.
 
Next week, both businesses plan to give his wife Megan a combined total of about $16,000.
 
"I think I have a pretty good idea of what Megan's going through and with all the support it's hard to know how you can thank all these people," said Lori.
 
16 years ago, three of Lori’s children were involved in a life-changing car accident. Trent was seriously injured. Arik Matson’s mom Sheila stepped up for the family. 
 
"She happened to be in the ER the night our kids came in for whatever reason and she came and found us in the waiting room and consoled us,” said Lori. 
 
Sheila was working as a paraprofessional in Lori’s special education classroom at the time. 
 
"She was helping in my program and doing what she could to support everyone," said Lori.
 
Now the Nelsons are doing what they can to support her family. 
 
To learn how you can buy a t-shirt check out the 407 Designz Facebook page or call 507-251-8964. All proceeds go to the Matson family. 

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