If you are a long time follower of The Gunny Sack, you are familiar with my involvement in Champions For Kids. Every month Champions for Kids has a new SIMPLE Service project. This month’s project is called Dial Into Giving and is all about getting personal hygiene items to children in need! Toiletries are one of those things that we think we couldn’t live without but when times get tough purchases like food, clothing and shelter get put before personal care items. My kids like to take 15 minute showers and complain if their favorite brand of shower gel or shampoo is getting low. How must it feel for a child to have to go to school without having the items they need to keep themselves clean?
I went shopping at Walmart for some supplies to donate and decided that I wanted the focus for this donation to be on older kids. So, I looked for items to create small personal hygiene kits for teens or tweens. The first item I found was Dial hand soap for only 98 cents each!
Next, I picked up an eight pack of Dial soaps, toothbrushes, toothpaste and bottles of all-in-one shampoo and conditioner.
I also came across these bins of hygiene items for 94 cents each. I bought some boy’s and girls deodorant from in here. I was also able to find small bottles of Dial lotion and bought one for each kit.
I wanted to get the kids involved and one of the best ways to do that is to let them learn and create. Since they are in school during the day, they weren’t able to come shopping or come with to drop off the donation. My plan was to buy some glycerin for making soap but I wasn’t able to find any at Walmart or Joanns and didn’t have time to have it shipped to me. So, I went online and found some fun soap experiments and tutorials for making soap. One night we had some cousins over for some “good clean fun”. We did the bar of soap experiment and turned it into a giant puffball! This got a lot of ohhhhs and ahhhhs from the kids! Then, we crumbled the puffball into a large bowl. We used the crumbles to make soap by mixing in water and food coloring. Then, we used the soap mixture to fill cookies cutters and left them to dry. The leftover soap mixture was spread on the bathtub walls like finger paint.
Here are all of the items I purchased along with the items we collected. There is 15 pounds worth of deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, lotion, feminine hygiene products, makeup, shampoo, soap and bodywash.
I really wanted to sew some toiletries bags for the kits but ended up snapping my sewing machine needle right in the middle of sewing! So, I ran to Target and picked up 4 bags to use instead. They aren’t as cute as the ones I was making but they will do. These bags can be folded into a small rectangle and Velcroed shut.
Before dropping off the donation, I assembled the kits. There are 2 kits for boys and 2 kits for girls plus an additional bag of extra personal hygiene items.
I brought my donation to a local food shelf. I’ve donated here before and I really like that they are helping people in their small community. The signs said that students will be out collecting donations on October 31st! They must be doing that along with trick-or-treating…what a great idea!
There were only a couple of people getting donations from the food shelf and unfortunately the shelves look pretty bare compared to the last time I dropped off! They really are in need of donations as I am sure the food shelves in your area are. Remember that food shelves supply more than just food to people in need!
The people working at the food shelf were so very thankful for the donation. I must have been thanked at least 10 times during the 5 minutes I was there! They said they are always in need of this kind of donation and that these items go really fast. The woman helping me, named Deb, asked if I wanted the bags back. I explained to her that I had assembled the kits and she said, “Oh, THANK YOU!!”
Wondering how you can help? Gather your family, friends, co-workers and neighbors to collect personal hygiene items for kids in need. Bring the donations to a place in your community that helps kids such as a food shelf, a social worker, a shelter or even a local school! Then, take a quick moment to stop by the Champions For Kids website to tell them about your SIMPLE service project and help them reach their goal to mobilize 20 million people by 2020!
What can you do this month to help kids in your community?