CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Officer Chris Oberheim was shot and killed Wednesday — and people from all over the country have bought over 1,000 t-shirts to support his family.
On Friday, Matt Ennis of Truck House T’s wasn’t expecting to take an order of this magnitude, but this project was something he felt he needed to do.
“I just want to do what I can to help them,” he says.
“Purposeful,” Ennis continues. “It gives us a sense of purpose to help someone else in their time of need.”
Last week, Officer Oberheim died on duty. Jessica Buescher lives in Monticello, and when she heard about the loss, she reached out to Truck House T’s so they could help make t-shirts to benefit the family.
“I know that there’s going to be a lot of expenses and we just wanted to come together as a community to help them,” she says. “For me, if there’s somebody in need I want to help.”
They partnered with Body N Sole and One Stroke Inks & Supplies for the project.
So far, over 1,300 shirts have been sold.
The money raised will benefit the family. It’s a cause that Ennis says is particularly close to his heart. Ennis is a firefighter, so not only does he know what it’s like to serve, he knows what it’s like for a community to support him.
“A year and a half ago I lost my son and was put in the spotlight due to this,” Ennis says. “The overwhelming response from the community was phenomenal in support of our family over this and so we don’t ever want to give it back but we want to pay it forward.”
“I just can’t imagine being the family of Officer Oberheim,” says Buescher. “I can’t fathom what they must be going through and I’m lucky enough that my husband can come home every day from work and he doesn’t have to put his life on the line day in and day out.”
They’re choosing to band together in the midst of tragedy.
“Just know that you’re not alone,” Ennis says. “There are plenty of people out here who are here to support you and we will be through the long-haul of this.”
People can buy a t-shirt online.