By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, [email protected]
At 12 years old, Naomi Wadler, who hit the world stage when she rocked the nation with her speech at the March for Our Lives last year, is working to make waves for her peers near and far- most recently with the District’s Children’s Advocacy Center, Safe Shores.
On April 6 Wadler gathered some of her closest friends to volunteer for Safe Shores’ seasonal clothing switch, which stocks several rows of brand-new clothes folded by size for children affected by abuse in D.C.
“On average each year, Safe Shores gives more than 300 colorful new duffle bags filled with new outfits, undergarments and toiletries to our clients to not only take care of a basic need but also to show our clients they matter,” said Michele Booth Cole, executive director of Safe Shores.
“Our clothing closet is a big deal and so is Naomi, an extraordinary young voice for children,” Cole added.
Wadler spoke with the AFRO about her work with Safe Shores and her excitement about the collaboration.
“Safe Shores is just a safe spot for so many kids who have been through violent incidents and who don’t really have a great support system- they can go to Safe Shores and they can just be surrounded with people who can help them through whatever they’re going through. And I thought that was a great message and great mission. And it’s something that we should all pay attention to,” Wadler told the AFRO.
The 12-year-old already collaborated with KIDBOX, from which she donated new clothes. Her collaboration with KIDBOX led to her line, “Kind is the New Cool.”
“I always have noticed when people don’t treat other people like people. They treat them as objects or less than human, and I really don’t understand that and that’s always been something that I’ve not agreed with,” she said. “So I said, ‘I believe in being kind to other people and being, in general, just a good person and doing what’s right when nobody is standing with you. So, I just said, ‘Kind is the New Cool,’ because it was kind of catchy, and I never created a t-shirt before.”
Her work with KIDBOX allowed for her to donate new clothes and present a check to Safe Shores.
“Raising $10,000 worth of clothing for Safe Shores is such a big thing and I’ve never really done anything like it,” Wadler explained about her work with KIDBOX and Safe Shores. “And it’s really rewarding, and overall it’s going really well and I didn’t expect the t-shirts to sell as well the way they did. And it matters that we are helping the kids at Safe Shores and the we’re helping the non-profits to assist the kids.”