A friend of ours Almease Byrd posted on Facebook that kids at the school she works at were struggling for shoes. Naomie had done a film on migrant farmworkers years ago and their struggle was something that she always aspired to assist with. As we chose the next event for April, the idea for a clothes and shoe drive was presented to the team and everyone jumped on board. We decided to benefit both the kids from Watts and Migrant Farmworkers with this months effort. Our first focus was to collect the items, once we had them we'd decide on our next move. Not knowing how much we'd be able to collect we felt there was no need to make grandiose plans if the product per se wasn't there. Our goal was to have every member on the executive board collect at least ten bags.
The goal was surpassed. Our VP Hannah offered her home for storage and deliveries began. Members, families, friends brought bags, and bags, and bags. A date was set to sort the items and everyone on the board arrived to put in WORK. Hours of hard, overwhelming, in the sun WORK! It was almost too much, there often seemed to be no end in sight but with music blasting and lots of shit talking the sorting continued. Over 6,000 items of clothing were collected and 140+ pairs of shoes.
The planning for the delivery then began. For the middle school, we envisioned a fashion show to glamorize the "thrifting" a bit, and work toward removing the negative notion. For the migrant farmworkers a bigger battle was on the table...how would we get our members and all the bags of clothing to Bakersfield. These two events are currently in the making, we remain hopeful that we will pull it off!