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April 10, 2021

Social Outreach Is Key Element of Teen’s Custom Clothing Venture

In June 2020, Academy of the Holy Angels junior Hannah Kim established 5/15 Collection, a custom clothing business with a social conscience. The Cresskill teen uses her venture to raise awareness for various causes, and donates a portion of her proceeds to support positive change.

 

Kim’s most recent effort, For the Elders, is a multi-month project that will continue through the month of May. This 5/15 Collection fundraising initiative benefits Heart of Dinner, an organization that delivers hot lunches and fresh produce to New York City’s elderly Asian-American community.

 

Each delivery comes with an uplifting, illustrated letter that is handwritten in Chinese, Korean, or Japanese.

 

Kim notes that attacks against Asian-Americans have increased at an alarming rate during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

“These hate crimes have specifically targeted the elderly and range from being spat on and verbally harassed to incidents of physical assault,” she noted.

 

Kim added that New York’s Asian-American restaurant employees have been going home early because they fear violence and harassment. As a result, Kim asserts that Heart of Dinner’s work is more important than ever.

 

“Heart of Dinner resonated with me because, not only do they support the Asian-American elderly community in New York City, but also (help) small businesses and restaurants stay afloat during the pandemic.”

 

Kim encourages others to learn more, and lend a hand. She uses Instagram (@515Collection) to share informational posts, stories, articles and other relevant materials.

 

“On the FTE (For the Elders) post, there is information on how to contribute without purchasing,” Kim said. “Donors can venmo @hannahh-kim to directly add to the donation amount or donate through the link in the Instagram bio.”

 

She also welcomes handwritten, illustrated messages for Heart of Dinner’s clients. Email 515collectioninfo@gmail.com to learn more.

So far, 5/15 Collection has made donations to UNICEF’s humanitarian work in Yemen; Pencils of Promise, which provides children around the world with quality education, resources, and information about water, sanitation, and hygiene; With Our Soldiers, an organization that aids soldiers and families affected by the war in Armenia; and Operation Warm, which manufactures high-quality coats for children in need.

 

Kim also teamed up with Project Sheltered, a program launched by AHA students Rachel Mina, Gabriella Callaghan, and Shivani Sahu. This outreach benefits Saint Joseph’s Home, a shelter in Jersey City.

“I started 5/15 because I wanted to make a larger impact than a one-time donation to the Minnesota Freedom Fund,” Kim said. “I felt moved by the Black Lives Matter movement and combined my creative abilities and appreciation for one-of-a-kind items to offer custom made apparel.

 

“I have donated over $500 to the previously chosen organizations and I would love to double that amount (to help Heart of Dinner) as this is my longest fundraising period for one cause. As an involved student and AHA Varsity Dance Team member, I am very familiar with the unity and strength behind the Holy Angels community and feel confident that, with additional exposure, I will be able to reach my goal and advocate for the Asian-American elderly community, who cannot advocate for themselves.”

 

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.

 
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