Mia Simon Works to Help Underprivileged Children
By Murray Litman
The past few months have been rough for many students at River. With most students learning virtually from home, it can seem difficult to get motivated. But one student made her own cause and has been building it into a reality. While it may not have its impact here in South Florida, it will greatly impact the world of others.
In many bedroom closets across the US, high school students have old sweatshirts from bar mitzvahs, which attract dust, while many impoverished children struggle to stay warm in the winter months and cannot afford a sweatshirt. This inspired junior Mia Simon to create a nonprofit back in 2019, that collects old sweatshirts and ships them to underprivileged children in South America.
“My goal is to collect around 300-400 sweatshirts by the time I graduate and I am already above halfway…,” she says. “I give them [the sweatshirts] to a guy I’ve worked with named Willy who delivers them [to South America].”
Willy has worked as a painter at Mia’s home for many years and he sends back clothes to support people in his hometown in Venezuela. Mia decided to help him, knowing that the large number of sweatshirts sitting in closets around Boca have little to no use for River students, but can serve to help these underprivileged children.
Mia feels incredibly proud of herself knowing that with just the power of giving away old bar mitzvah sweatshirts, she can make an impact for many kids in need.
“It makes me really happy to know I am helping people…,” she said. [I am helping] even people I have never met before and [I] am making even the slightest difference in their lives.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Mia’s nonprofit, but she is still working hard to collect as many sweatshirts as she can.
“I could not do any drives. But, I was still able to collect some sweatshirts from [my] friends and family…,” she said. “I am trying to coordinate when I can send them but I don’t have an exact time.”
Regardless of the fact that the sweatshirts cannot be delivered as of now, she is keeping productive. When these children are able to receive Mia’s sweatshirts, they will be in for a surprise, as a large order is waiting to be sent.