A way to cope from depression from last year's Slave Lake fire gave rise to a remarkable initiative to boost morale and raise money for charity.

"People not wanting to come back. It just killed me," said Stan Pepper, one of the creators of the "I Love Slave Lake" t-shirts.

"I love this town,  I grew up here. These are my friends, family and neighbours and I had to do something. Either I was going to go down a dark road or else I was going to get up and I was going to do something."

Since then, sales from the t-shirts and other merchandise have raised $30,000 for various charities.

Pepper talked to the CBC's Portia Clark on Tuesday.