Next time you’re on vacation, bring your own toiletries but don’t forget to take the ones the hotel provides. There are people in your community that are in great need of the personal care items we often overlook or take for granted. This month, we’re encouraging you to provide personal care items for the homeless in your community.

There are resources for homeless people, including shelters and organizations, that provide support and essential items for those in need. However, most of the donations that shelters and organizations receive are monetary or food donations. Monetary donations help keep shelters and organizations running – paying for electricity, water, heat or air conditioning, laundering of bed linens, etc., while food donations only go so far. People who are homeless often receive food stamps, however, these can only be used for food, not other essential items such as personal care items. Often forgotten in donations are personal care items such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, etc. – things that are considered essential items for the well-being of any person.

Access to cleanliness should be a basic human right. When people feel clean and have access to cleansing items then they feel more positive and confident, as well as capable of changing their life around. One organization making a difference in California cities is LavaMae. They provide pop-up, mobile showers and restrooms for the homeless in Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Fransisco with the goal of expanding their organization globally. One of LavaMae’s missions is to treat “those who often feel invisible and dehumanized with an extraordinary level of respect and care to restore dignity, and unlock the opportunities that come with being clean.” Through their work, they are helping the homeless restore the way they view themselves, as well as how others see them. Everyone deserves to live comfortably and we’re encouraging you to help this month by collecting personal care items and delivering them to homeless shelters.

Items Needed For This Month’s Campaign

  • Any travel or full-sized personal care items including, but not limited to:
    • shampoo
    • conditioner
    • lotion
    • soap
    • toothbrushes
    • toothpaste
    • deodorant
    • hairbrushes
    • floss

*make sure the items you are collecting are new and unopened

How To Do This Month’s Campaign

Collect personal care items. Reach out to your family members, friends, and neighbors to join in! If you’re going on vacation, take home the cleansing items provided by the hotel. You can also go to the store and purchase some travel size or full-size items to add to your collection. Once you have plenty to share, take the items to a local homeless shelter. It’s always a good idea to call a shelter before you arrive to make sure they are in need of your supplies.

Reflection Questions

How would you feel if you didn’t have access to personal care items and resources?

How do you think your participation in this month’s campaign is making a difference?