Teen Voice sorts jeans collected for homeless


Eva Morales

Junior Alex Villapando helps sort jeans for the homeless for Foothill’s Teen Voice. Photo by Eva Morales, The Foothill Dragon Press.

On Saturday morning, Teen Voice members gathered at City Hall to sort jeans that they had collected for the homeless people of Ventura County and to officially end this year’s drive.

“This is a great chance for us to give back to the community, we want to make sure we take care of our homeless community, and I think we did a great thing,” said Mario Robinson, City of Ventura Youth Programs Supervisor and Teen Voice Advisor.

They have been collecting jeans for a month at different sites from all over the county including elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and even Starbucks, who Teen Voice partnered with for the first time this year. 

Teen Voice created their now annual “Teens for Jeans”drive in 2008 because they wanted to help Ventura’s homeless.

They had found out that local clothes pantries run out of jeans by mid-January, which means that appropriate winter clothes wouldn’t be available to those in need.

In the previous years, they gathered over 700 pairs of jeans, so this year’s goal was to double that.

When Teen Voice participants arrived at City Hall, they ran up the stairs to its attic where the organizing of the jeans took place. Members were assigned a pile of jeans that they would count, separate by size and gender, and then fold.

“It’s amazing how many jeans we got,” junior Alex Villalpando said.

Once everybody was done sorting, Teen Voice leader Xelina Miramontes started calling out sizes so that the right sized jeans could be placed into a bag that would be given to a homeless person who had requested a pair.

Extra jeans were put into black trash bags to give to other organizations that need to stock up on jeans.

After sorting, Robinson announced how much the group had collected.

“Everybody, the collection went very well and even though we didn’t reach our goal, we got 575 jeans, 50 jackets and a lot of extra clothes. We have to remember that a lot of people gave jeans last year so maybe they couldn’t this year.”

“We would have definitely met our goal if we would have done some advertising in newspaper or radio station, we needed more reaching out,” Miramontes said.

“This was a lot but at the same time a lot of work, all in all I felt great that I could help the community,” Villalpando added.

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