Sophomore Sofia Tejedor is hosting a clothing drive to support the Emory University Farmworker Project, where she will be volunteering this summer. The Farmworker Project provides free health care to more than 2,000 Georgia farmworkers and their families who play a key role in Georgia’s fruit and vegetable industry.
Sofia volunteered with the Farmworker Project for the first time in fifth grade. Her parents are both doctors and helped with the medical care, while Sofia helped with moving supplies. After a few years off due to COVID, she is excited to volunteer again in Valdosta this summer and wanted to take her volunteering to the next level by organizing a clothing drive.
After speaking with the head of the program, Sofia discovered that the workers had a great need for fresh clothing while they worked in the fields.
“The workers are doing manual labor in the fields. Their clothing gets sweaty or dirty or ripped, and they don’t have enough clothing to replace it. They need fresh clothes to protect themselves while they work,” Sofia said. “I decided to host a clothing drive to help.”
Sofia’s clothing drive will run through April 21. Donations can be dropped off on the tables next to the Upper School office.
When asked why she is passionate about this project, Sofia replied, “It’s not fair that these workers go work in the fields to make a living and provide for their families and don’t have access to basic healthcare and necessities. In some cases, this is the only time they will receive medical care. I want to use my resources to help.”
The primary need for this drive is adult-sized crew length socks. The farmworkers frequently suffer from trench foot from working in the fields where their socks get wet and muddy. If they don’t have a clean pair for the next day, then they continue to wear the same pair resulting in trench foot.
In addition to socks, Sofia is also collecting:
An Amazon Wishlist has also been set up with current needs.
long-sleeve and short-sleeve adult shirts
men's pants in sizes 28-36
drawstring or reusable grocery bags
Clothing can be gently used, but please make sure the clothing is clean and in good condition. All donations go directly to the workers.
Sofia was recently accepted into the Public Health Concentration at Walker. She is also a varsity volleyball and soccer player, a member of the Model United Nations team and involved with the Diversity Alliance and the Student Activities Union.
After graduation, Sofia hopes to pursue a career helping people either in public health, medicine or psychology.