BY ADA TSENG | ASSISTANT EDITOR, UTILITY JOURNALISM
JAN. 13, 2020 6:13 PM PT
On a week day leading up to Christmas break, the fifth-through-eighth graders of Sts.
Simon & Jude Catholic School in Huntington Beach spent their religion period
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organizing and folding 70 garbage bags full of donated clothing and shoes.
Long tables lined the gymnasium, and the students sorted the apparel by size, type and
gender before vacuum sealing them in plastic bags. Each class did as much as they
The school has many service projects, but this one is unique. The clothing drive for
Honduras started last school year when then-seventh-grader Sofia Greenberg sent a
proposal to Principal Colette O’Bannion.
For years, Sofia saw her father, Allan Greenberg, go on an annual 10-day medical
mission trip to Olanchito, Honduras.
Greenberg, the Los Angeles-area representative for medical device company Medtronic,
co-founded a non-profit, World Health Access Team, with Bakersfield surgeon Dr. Hao
Bui in 2015. The organization provides vascular and venous care to under-served
communities around the world.
The two had done work together in Vietnam, and Bui encouraged Greenberg to go with
him to Honduras to do ulcer repair — “They get these huge gaping wounds in their lower
legs and feet, and it’s terrible and painful,” explains Greenberg — because Greenberg’s
family is from Honduras.
Allan’s mother is from San Pedro Sula, and his dad is from Puerto Cortés. Both of
Jewish descent, they met after immigrating to New York, where Allan was born, and
when Allan was a kid, he and his mother would go back to Honduras for months at a
time, when his military father was deployed.
Sofia, now 13, who hopes to become a surgeon, wanted to go with her father on the
mission trip, but Allan told her she had to earn it.
“I wanted Sofia to have a stake in it,” says Allan. “If you just show up, and you don’t
know what you did to get there, it doesn’t mean as much.”