Students donate self-raised funds to healthcare workers by designing and selling clothing

Students donate self-raised funds to healthcare workers by designing and selling clothing

Gavin Lin

Through hard work and rare creativity, Mountain View High School student Jessica Gao has been raising funds voluntarily in order to donate earned profits towards helping healthcare workers fight off COVID-19. In light of the recent pandemic, certain individuals have taken it upon themselves to work towards a safer and improved community. Among this slim group of talented and selfless advocates for safety is Gao.

Gao works on her website from a tablet at home. Photo courtesy of Gao.

Stemming from a passion for clothing designs and entrepreneurship, Gao created a website where she could sell clothes online in exchange for money to donate towards the Jeremy Lin Foundation (or JLF). The JLF is a non-profit organization that seeks to donate money to communities facing starvation as well as to protect healthcare workers by providing necessary equipment. 

Gao explained how she always wanted to combine her creativity with businesslike aspects. Through designing and selling articles of clothing, she is able to draw upon her two passions in the same project. 

“I just couldn’t wait to combine my passions for entrepreneurship and design,” Gao said. 

Reflecting on her life in a privileged community, Gao realized that many benefits such as quality healthcare and sanitary living conditions are not as  common in less wealthy parts of the world. With this in mind, she wishes to serve the community as a whole instead of saving the profits for her own use. 

Working with her on this project is MVHS student Janine Leong and Gunn HS student Hannah Zhang. When Gao brought the idea of this volunteer work to them they hopped aboard instantly. 

Leong shares Gao’s motives, stating that she feels the need to give back to those who may not have the same opportunities as herself. 

“Since we have so much in our lives, we are able to help others,” she said. 

Hannah Zhang, Gao’s other partner, explains how she has always been very interested in helping out the community and has done extensive community service in the past. However, quarantine has limited Zhang’s volunteering options due to lack of interaction with others. She saw Gao’s project as a way to give back which also allowed her to social distance properly and serve her community. 

“I wanted to be involved in the community and do more volunteer work especially during this time,”  Zhang said.

Gao poses in her merchandise for a picture on her instagram. Photo courtesy of Gao.

Though the project has only finished its first phase, the three have already begun selling and making profits that can go towards their donations. Their excitement towards the successful sales and their ability to reform their products with the help of constructive criticism will allow them to make an impact on the community during this pandemic. 

“We’re very excited to be able to–with the help of everyone who has ordered something or given us feedback–donate and help out others,” Gao said.