Published: Feb 13, 2014 12:28 AM EST

FORT MYERS, Fla.- Wear The Fund is a local t-shirt printing company with a unique business plan- a percentage of the profits are automatically donated to charity.

Founder Sam Lewis says screen printing t-shirts wasn't always his dream, but it was to make a difference. "I woke up one night (during college) and couldn't go back to sleep and I had an epiphany that this is what I wanted to do. I want to have a t-shirt company that gives back. I really believe it's the future of retail," he says,

Lewis, who grew up in Fort Myers, along with his brother, began the social start-up company which began in their garage and has now moved into a warehouse.  "We give back a set percentage of every transaction we do and it goes back to one of our 11 non-profit partners, and the customer gets to choose."

Those partners include the Foundation for Lee County Schools, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida to name a few.

Angela Katz at Ronald McDonald House says, "when he first presented the idea to us it was pretty unusual, especially someone of this generation as a new business owner, already giving back a percentage of proceeds to non-profits, it's really exciting and was actually breathtaking." She says in the first year, Wear The Fund donated more than $1,000 to Ronald McDonald House, allowing them to house 150 families for a one night stay at the facility.

It its first year of business, Wear The Fund gave back $7,000 to its charity partners. Lewis hopes to inspire other aspiring business owners to adopt a give-back model.

The company sells its own retail brand online, and also does custom screen printing orders. 20% of retail orders goes to charity and 10% of custom screen printing orders goes to the charity partners.

Lewis says the bottom line isn't the profit, it's all about giving back and supporting the charity partners.

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