ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — Since July 1, an Arlington teenager has raised $300 for Saba Relief. The organization helps people affected by the crisis in Yemen.

Emily Tesone started hand sewing plushies for her friends when the pandemic began. Her hobby grew more meaningful after she learned about what was happening in Yemen. She felt the Black Lives Matter movement was drowning out the refugees’ needs—about 80 percent of them need humanitarian assistance.

“I feel like we have a moral obligation to help those that don’t have help from other people. It’s being completely overshadowed but they need a lot of help considering it’s the world’s largest humanitarian crisis right now,” she said. 

Her Plushies for Peace are made out of anti-pill plush fleece, blizzard fleece and stuffed. They cost between $10 and $25 and can be customized. Tesone is donating most of the funds to Saba Relief; she’s pocketing the rest to pay for supplies.

Tesone picked Saba Relief because most other international organizations have trouble getting their donations past military blockades. Saba Relief, on the other hand, has a relief team on the ground in Yemen and even employs Yemenis.

“The team there buys resources from local businesses and uses it to help the most needy in the country,” Tesone said. “A lot of people in Yemen don’t have any jobs and if they do they work for very little pay. So they’re killing two birds with one stone by supporting their businesses and helping out the ones that are most in need.” 

To order, direct message Plushies for Peace on Instagram: @plushiesforpeace.