Kiwanis Club helps others get a clean start

Kiwanis Club collects personal care products for Interfaith Ministries.

Kiwanis Club collects personal care products for Interfaith Ministries.

Vicki Baker

We’ve all done it. You stay in a hotel and pack away the unused complementary toiletries. Then slowly but surely your home toiletry stash begins to look like a CVS Pharmacy. Don’t fret. Kiwanis Club has the perfect solution! Donate these unused toiletries so that individuals in need can benefit from your inventory of shampoo, soap and all things hygiene-related.

Personal hygiene products are used every day, yet often overlooked as donations. Used in our everyday lives, these basic items are invaluable to impoverished individuals and families. By collecting unused toiletries just a few times a year you can easily donate hundreds of valued items. The Kiwanis Club in turn delivers these to Interfaith Ministries.

Beginning in 1991 several area churches came together to provide multiple services under one roof in a central downtown Denton location. The churches pooled resources, freeing their own church ministers and staff from providing fragmented services. Interfaith was officially chartered by the State of Texas in October of 1992 as the Social Action Committee, and the name was changed in 1993 to Interfaith Ministries of Denton, Inc.

Today Interfaith serves over 3,000 people a year as the primary resource for emergency basic needs assistance in Northern Denton County with the goal of helping people to become self-sufficient. In additional to providing personal care and hygiene supplies, they offer Denton residents on an as-needed basis assistance with rent/shelter, utilities, prescriptions and medical care, public transportation, eyeglasses, diapering supplies for adults and children, back-to-school supplies, coats for children and summer fan distribution.

So what hygiene items does Interfaith Ministries need? Travel-size toothpaste, hand sanitizer, shampoo, soap, deodorant and lotion. Also hair brushes, combs, disposable razors, feminine hygiene products and toothbrushes are always appreciated.

Supplying basic items like soap and toothpaste can help improve the health hygiene of a person in need, but it’s also about dignity and self-esteem. It helps marginalized people rebuild their lives. You can rest assured that your shampoo will be washing the hair of someone who is trying to get their life back on track. And women in abusive situations get access to toiletries of their own giving them an opportunity to start fresh.

The next time you stay at a hotel, give it a try. It’s just a little thing, but the donations are sincerely appreciated. Just toss some extra ziploc bags in your suitcase. It makes travel a little bit nicer, and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you “paid it forward.”

Interested in other ways to “pay it forward?” Then visit the Kiwanis Club Robson Ranch on the first and third Friday at 8:30 a.m. in the Clubhouse. For more information contact Jim Galbraith at [email protected]