Ever since watching the Big O show, the tent city situation has been eating away at me everyday. I knew I wanted to do something about it but with two kids under the age of three, I’ve got my hands tied behind my back most days. I figured that among my circle of moms we had plenty of stuff that could be donated and put to good use. Why not have a donation drive for women and children’s clothing and baby care items?
Last week I emailed the volunteer coordinator at the St. John’s Shelter for Women and Children. This is one of the shelters that was featured in the tent city show. According to the volunteer coordinator, they are still turning away over 240 people every night. 240 women and children. Every night. They have been doing outreach to the tent city and you can read a note from their Executive Director here. St. John’s has a wishlist on their website, but since I knew that they had received a lot of media coverage due to the Big O, I wanted to get specifics on what items they most needed. As it turns out, since the show aired, they have received an abundance of donations, mostly clothing. Go figure.
Do you know what kind of stuff they are in need of? Feminine hygiene products. Apparently, nobody wants to donate sanitary napkins and tampons. Along the same lines: large diapers, baby wipes, heavy duty trash bags, and copy paper (paperwork!).
These everyday personal hygiene and baby care items are things that most of us take for granted. We just stop at the store on the way home to pick them up or order them online, delivered to our doorstep a few days later. We throw away or hoard hotel soaps and mini shampoos. If you are a parent, you know how much the expense of diapers can eat at your budget. Never again will I look at these items the same way.