“EBCI Strong” shirts making a statement and helping local food pantries 

by Apr 17, 2020COMMUNITY sgadugi





One Cherokee business is making t-shirts that are making a positive statement and helping local food pantries during the quarantine time of COVID-19.  A&A Designs, located in the Yellowhill Community, has begun making t-shirts with the slogan “EBCI Strong”.  

Vice Chief Alan B. Ensley, second from left, and his family model EBCI Strong t-shirts produced by A&A Designs. They are shown, left to right, including – Timiyah Brown, Vice Chief Ensley, Libby Ensley, and Kellen Ensley. (Photo contributed)

The shirts were the brainchild of Vice Chief Alan B. Ensley with the idea of promoting tribal solidarity among members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) as well as helping local food pantries.  

“During the social distancing and stay-at-home orders, it is a good time to focus on family and reconnect since everybody is normally so busy,” said Vice Chief Ensley.  “We wanted the slogan on the shirt to remind everyone that, as a people, we have been through many trials and hardships, and we have always stood strong and continue to stand strong during these uncertain times.”  

Alicia Maney, owner of A&A Designs, commented, “We wanted to not only make a stand all together but to help make a difference.”  

The t-shirts are for sale for $14/each with $5 of each purchase going to the food pantry locations in Cherokee and Snowbird Community/Cherokee County.  

“Times are uncertain for many,” said Maney.  “Food is something that is a need now, not later.  We trust that this is the best way to help that need now.  The EBCI Food Pantry is run by Barbara Jones and Snowbird is run by Zena Rattler, both amazing women that will put every penny to good use.”  

While the storefront for A&A Designs is not open currently due to the COVID-19 business closure orders, shirts can be purchased through their Facebook page or by calling (828) 226-7046.  

“We are all in this together,” said Maney.  “We will stand proud.”