A simple project that can make a big difference in someone's life
A common need for charities who assist and work with the homeless and needy is for toiletry products.
Many of those whom they assist have nothing. Whether they have lost it all through disaster or tragedy, or have had to flee their previous life and leave everything behind, such basic necessities as a toothbrush can make a real difference. This lens gives some tips for putting together a basic toiletries care pack for donation.
What To Put In A Toiletry Bag
The first step here is to check with your local charity on what their exact requirements are. This includes finding out if they have a preferred list of items to include, if there are any safety considerations (for example, in some cases razors or other sharp objects would not be appropriate) and if they specifically need packs for men, women or children.
A simple toiletry bag would contain the following items:
- Brush / Comb
- Bodywash / Wrapped Soap
Some tips to remember: Regular sized products will last longer than travel size. For health reasons all products should be new and unused. Toothbrushes should be in a wrapper and soap bars should also be individually wrapped.
Some ideas for other items that may be nice to add:
- Plastic travelcase for soap and toothbrush
- Razor (see note above about sharp objects)
- Manicure Set (see note above about sharp objects)
- Small Mirror (see note above about sharp objects)
Where To Donate
There are a number of ways to donate your toiletry bags, depending on what services are available in your local area.
Donate directly to a charity
Some charities are quite open and easy to find, so you could give them a call and donate directly to them. Other entities, such as womens shelters, may not advertise quite so openly for security reasons. You may still be able to donate to these groups through a third party charity.
Donate through your local Council
Most local Councils would have list of organisations within the community who would benefit from your donation and would be able to provide you with contact details. Some larger Councils may also have a dedicated department for this kind of community work.
Donate through a Craft Group, Volunteer Group or Service Club
Many craft groups exist who already run projects making and collecting items for charity. The same with volunteer groups and service clubs. You may find that there is a local group already running a similar project that you can get involved with. The benefits of this is that a group of people working together can put together a larger donation.
Some Points To Consider
Before heading into a Toiletry Kit Project there are some points to consider:
Who are your intended recipients? eg. clients of a community service, a local shelter, a street outreach service
What are your recipients requirements? eg. no sharps, full size or travel size products
How many kits do you need to make up?
What is the breakdown of kits required for men, women and children?
How will your kits be distributed? (Your intended recipients will be a big deciding factor in this one)
How will you fund your project? eg. via specific fundraisers, donations of money or products, via a discount or cost price deal with a local business, via sponsorship.
Who will assemble the kits?
How will you promote your project?
Example Charity Toiletry Kit
Can You Imagine?
Walk into your bathroom and take a look at the various personal care items it contains. I'm guessing you probably have at least a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap to wash yourself with and a comb or brush to tidy your hair. If it's anything like my bathroom, the cabinet is overflowing with products - shampoo, conditioner, moisturisers, perfume and aftershave, dental floss and a huge bottle of mouthwash.
Imagine now that suddenly your life has taken a turn for the worst. Through whatever circumstances you've just turned up at a hostel, or worse, you are on the streets. You're tired, dirty and downhearted. You have nothing but the clothes on your back. Luxuries such as a hot shower, being able to shampoo your hair or brush your teeth would be wonderful - but seem unreachable.
And then someone gives you a Toiletry Kit. Not only a handful of personal care items, but something that you can call your own.
I know this is a really simplistic view of the situation, the reality is usually much harsher. You're probably thinking - what difference is a little bag of toiletry items going to do? Well, even if it's only a small thing, time and time again when talking to those who have been there we find that a gift as simple as a few toiletry items shows that someone cares and helps restore a little hope.
Need Some Help Fundraising For Your Project?
Looking For Somewhere To Get Involved With This Kind Of Project?
If you're in Australia, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Fiji or Indonesia and aged between 18 and 45 why not check out your local Apex clubs?
You can find out more information at the Apex Australia official website.
Better still, if you're in Ipswich, Queensland Australia, come and read more about the Apex Club of Ipswich (this links to the Club's Facebook page). Like the page to get regular news updates and photos of club activities and events delivered directly to your Facebook newsfeed.
This Page Donates To Charity!
This page is hosted on Squidoo.com and as such earns royalties from advertising links. 10% of the proceeds earned by this lens are set to donate to the charity Room To Read.
"Over 300 million children around the world do not have access to education and most likely will never learn to read or write. Room to Read believes that all children, regardless of gender or background, have a right to education. By empowering children through this lifelong gift, we see a world in which people are able to realize their full potential."
You can find out more about Room To Read at their official website.
Do you like this project idea? Got any tips or suggestions? Would love to hear from you!
What Do You Think?
anonymous on June 22, 2012:
Hi 4 KIDS Charity (4(for) Kids In Difficult Situations) project 4 KIDS Bags/ they have a great project like this for kids & they need help you can donation or do a drive. for them
donatetimeshares on October 14, 2011:
I never thought of this! good job! this is something that i just might do.