A group of students sits in a room sorting out boxes filled to the brim with more than 200 bars of soap, toothbrushes, shampoos and other simple hygiene products that people typically take for granted.
They are members of Hygiene for Humanity, a student organization dedicated to promoting health locally and globally to those too impoverished to afford hygiene essentials.
â€œIt is a very real need in the Fort Collins community,â€ said the projectâ€™s toiletry package coordinator Regan Brown.
Hygiene for Humanity has teamed up with Project Homeless Connect to conduct the Hygiene Drive to collect supplies for 400 toiletry packages to give to homeless families and individuals in Fort Collins. The packages will be handed out at the Project Homeless Connect Fort Collins 2011 event on April 15 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Northside Aztlan Community Center.
The event will provide hygiene, legal counsel, medical evaluations and other necessities to the homeless and near homeless. Volunteers will escort the clients to the appropriate areas.
Homelessness is often hidden in Fort Collins and numbers are difficult to come by, Brown said.
The two groups are asking for donations to be dropped off in boxes located at Academic Village, Allison Hall, Braiden Hall, Durward Hall, Westfall Hall and the Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement offices in the Lory Student Center until Sunday. They will sort the items into the packs and prepare them for the event.
Donations can include soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothbrushes and other unopened cleanliness products. The groups are asking for more expensive items such as razors and shaving cream as well.
â€œNothing is going to change with an issue unless there is a greater awareness about it and a greater investment from the college community and the Fort Collins community,â€ said Chris Counts, president of Hygiene for Humanity and junior biomedical sciences major.
Jasmine Higgins, a junior health and exercise science major, said she joined the group after running into it at the Student Involvement Fair. She joined because the group has a clear plan and is well organized.
The idea Hygiene for Humanity started when Counts worked at the Arvada Community Food Bank. He was working in the front when a woman asked if they had toothbrushes and toothpaste so she could make sure her kids were clean before school.
Now the group has its own Facebook page and website where it promotes its national and international endeavors to make the world a healthier place. It has established two projects to assist orphans in Tanzania with health and cleanliness practices.
Staff writer Rachel Childs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.