UPDATE: Thousands want carpet used in Pope Francis' visit - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Thousands want carpet used in Pope Francis' visit

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UPDATE: More than 2,000 yards of specialty carpet was made at Shaw Floors in Dalton for the Pope's visit to Philadelphia.

The carpet is now on its way back from Philadelphia, but once it gets here it won't stay for long.

More than 7,500 people have already signed up to get their own 6-inch square piece of the carpet

"We announced the details of the offer on Friday night about 5 p.m.," said Shaw Floors Digital Content Director Todd Callaway, "And within 48 hours we had hit that limit of about 7,500 requests."

Thousands of people want a piece of the carpet Pope Francis walked on during his mass in Philadelphia, and the first 7,500 who signed up on Shaw's website are going to get one.

"We definitely had a lot of local interest but the requests literally came in nation-wide," Callaway said.

The carpet will be given away on a first come first serve basis.

As soon as Shaw ran out of orders they deactivated the website. So if you sent in your information successfully,  you'll be one of the lucky ones to get a piece of carpet in the mail.

"Once we hit the limit we pulled the page down, so that there wouldn't be anybody who thought they submitted their name and then wouldn't get one," Callaway said.

There's no way of knowing just how meaningful a piece of this carpet could be for those who want it most. The huge crowd during the Pope's visit is proof of his popularity in the U.S.

"I know that they'll be meaningful for a lot of different reasons. But we were excited to make this carpet available for that purpose," Callaway said.

The only thing Shaw wants in return is a $25 minimum donation to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

"Our hope is that we were able to raise thousands upon thousands of dollars over the weekend," Callaway said.

"A donation was not required but it was just something that we were just encouraging," he added, "And kind of elevating the message about the work that St. Jude Children's Research Hospital does."

Shaw flooring made this carpet specifically for the Pope's visit, it will not be available to purchase in any store.

Those who did get their names on the list should expect a piece of that carpet in the mail in about six weeks.


When Pope Francis delivers his remarks at Sundays mass in Philadelphia he will be standing on carpet made in North Georgia.

Its made from nylon, very durable for this one time use, said Todd Callaway, Shaw Floors.

2,200 yards of specialty carpet was made in the carpet capital of the world for the big day. Channel 3 got a look at a replica. This white carpeting is similar to the carpet sent to Philadelphia.

I think the purity of the color really represents what the pope stands for. So as we see the renderings of that stage and how beautiful it's going to be with the white and gold I think it's going to be beautiful presentation, said Callaway.

Shaw was given these pictures of the stage set up to help tailor the carpet to the space. The opportunity came through a retail partner in New Jersey.


When Flemington department store called and asked for Shaws help, the company was quick to offer their expertise.

We are happy to partner with him, one of our retailers, one of the retailers who chose to partner with us part of our Shaw floor network, said Callaway.

Once Sunday
s mass is over, the carpet will be up for grabs. It will be divided into about one thousand six by six commemorative samples.

The samples can be purchased with a donation of $25 or more. In the spirit of the pope, that money will be given to help young cancer patients in need.

Especially pleased that we are able to use this platform to continue to raise funds for St. Jude Research hospital,
said Callaway.

In addition to the samples, rugs will be cut from the carpet. Those will be up for auction on Monday. For a link on how to bid or purchase a sample visit popecarpetforstjude.com

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