Photo courtesy of Jada Mallott pictured second from left.

‘They’re A Part Of Us’, Says Student Behind Clothing Drive For Migrant Workers

Students at St. John Vianney Catholic Elementary School in Windsor want migrant workers in the county to know they care.

After finding out how much they make, Grade 8 student Jada Mallott and her fellow students took up their cause by collecting clothing for them.

Her father, Michael Mallott, is a member of the Windsor and District Labour Council, and Jada got the idea going through his meeting agendas.

“I showed him the flyer, and I said, ‘what’s up with this?'” she says. “I did some research, and I found the wage and what they earned. I saw they didn’t get very much, so I thought that if we were collecting clothing, they wouldn’t have to waste their money on it.”

She took the cause to her principal next.

“I was giving pizza parties to the classes that earned the most,” she explains. “It was really fun to see all the classes competing, and they were arguing about who was going to bring in more bags.”

Then the students stepped up and over three weeks collected more than 30 garbage bags full of gently used clothing.

All clothing was accepted, but Mallott says there was a particular emphasis placed on long pants and long-sleeved shirts for migrant workers to wear in the fall.

“They’re a part of our working community. They’re a part of us. They’re our family too,” says Mallott. “I think that collecting clothes for them would show our support and that we’re not ignoring them and we’re thankful for what they do for us.”

Mallott is no stranger to activism. In 2016, the then 12-year-old met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa to discuss her concerns about the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. She is a member of the Ontario Education Minister’s Student Advisory Council and was named one of this year’s 40 Leaders Under 40 in Windsor-Essex.