Deborah Privette’s nine-day campaign sold 106 shirts, more than twice her goal.


Right before the holidays, Deborah Privette of UNC Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery turned an inspired holiday idea – a red dot on an image of the female reproductive system transforms it into a pink Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – into concrete support for another UNC OB-GYN program, UNC Horizons.

The ‘Ruterus’ t-shirts were such a hit when the UNC MIGS team unveiled them at the annual holiday lunch on Dec. 14 that Privette, who designed the shirts, wondered if she could turn that excitement into something more. By that evening, she’d set up a campaign with the online site Booster to sell her design on shirts. She planned to sell 50 shirts in nine days and donate the proceeds to UNC Horizons, a program within UNC OB-GYN that specializes in treating and healing pregnant and parenting women with substance use disorders.

Ruterus MIGS

“I wanted this movement to unite the UNC OB-GYN department and others who have a mission to better women’s health,” said Privette.

Word made it across the country, and a sales manager for a lab in Kentucky bought 21 shirts to give to his clients who work in obstetrics and gynecology. And, he said, he might come back for more. By the end of the campaign, she’d sold 106 shirts with $1,475.66 going directly to UNC Horizons.

Privette said she was “absolutely thrilled,” by the results and grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in women’s lives.

Dr. Hendrée Jones, executive director of UNC Horizons, said Privette’s gesture, and the financial support it brought to UNC Horizons, was a source of joy for many.

“The kindness, caring and deep generosity of Deb Privette to share her talents to support Horizons in this beautiful way touches every heart at Horizons. The women were so touched to know that so many people within and outside of UNC are supporting them,” said Dr. Jones. “Such kindness and bringing together of community to support Horizons is a dream come true. Thank you to everyone who helps to support the work to improve the lives of women and children.”