Columnist Alexis Sachdev spearheads a clothing donation campaign on Main Campus in light of the disasters in Japan.
When Cher Horowitz spearheaded the Pismo Beach disaster relief efforts at Bronson Alcott High School, she dubbed her recourse onto the selfless track a makeover of her soul. She gathered her fine Italian outfits, cans of black caviar and skiing equipment, and encouraged her privileged peers to do the same.
For those who aren’t so savvy with classic ‘90s movies, I’m talking about “Clueless.” Alicia Silverstone’s character was a “total Betty” who came from wealthy parentage, and was, to put it bluntly, a spoiled brat. That was until she had a revelation to do good for others outside her failed attempts at matchmaking.
Like Horowitz, I find myself in need of a makeover – and not just in matters of style.
When I signed into my twenties last week, I started receiving subtle hints. My mother’s gifts to me – a gift card to J. Crew and adorable pair of internship-appropriate slacks – slyly hinted that my style should catch up to my age. And, as many Jewish girls can empathize, I’ve often been labeled a JAP (Jewish-American Princess). Then, I had a Horowitz-like revelation.
As the #prayforjapan hashtag gains popularity on Twitter, the need for aid becomes more apparent for the devastated country. Hollywood stars and business tycoons alike have taken notice, and the fashion world is rallying around Japan.
On March 18, Lady Gaga unveiled her “We pray for Japan” prayer bracelets, whose proceeds go to Japan relief efforts. In the 48 hours after bracelets hit stores, Gaga and her little monsters donated approximately $250,000.
Dong-Won Chang and Jin Sook Chang, owners of Forever 21, donated all the proceeds of online purchases made on March 18 to the American Red Cross.
Nike, with most of its global sales in Japan, donated $1 million to various relief efforts and an additional $250,000 worth of kicks to victims.
Bergdorf Goodman retailers have also taken note. The company redesigned its Facebook page into a “Charity Navigator,” which allows visitors to donate money through iTunes, provide shelter kits to victims or visit the websites of the American Red Cross and Doctors without Borders.
What we as Americans need to remember is it could always be worse. When we wake from a slumber in a warm bed, zombie-walk into a hot shower and grab a cup of coffee on our ways to class or work, we must remember how lucky we are, and there are those who are less-fortunate.
As you spring clean out your closets and shoe-racks and hide away your winter gear, I encourage you to join me on my soul makeover.
In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be teaming up with various campus organizations to jumpstart a clothing drive for Japan. It may not be much, but victims have lost everything, and even the least bit of aid can help. Alone, we are small, but when we stand together, we can achieve great things.
You will find our appropriately colored Cherry and White boxes in residence halls, and we’ll be at the Bell Tower with music, posters, donation boxes and a whole ‘lotta fun. We’ll be accepting any and all clothing, including shoes and coats – but leave your used undies at home, please.
Alexis Sachdev can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.