For the City Times
Wisconsin Rapids residents can help local families in need this weekend through a statewide initiative.
‘The Family’ radio networks’ 25th annual “Help for the Homeless” hygiene drive will be running from Feb. 19 – March 12, and is collecting new toiletry and cleaning products for 89 Wisconsin crisis agencies in 15 Northeast and Central Wisconsin communities.
People are encouraged to donate hygiene items at Festival Foods, Shopko Stores, and Walgreens. More than 800 area businesses, churches, and schools are participating by collecting internally from staff, members and students.
‘The Family’ radio network works together with area homeless coalitions and crisis programs by inviting the community to donate needed hygiene items for their local agencies through “Help for the Homeless.” Supplying the crisis programs with laundry soap, hair and dental care items, deodorant, diapers, and other personal care and cleaning products makes it possible for them to dedicate their limited financial resources to providing qualified personnel, education, counseling, safe housing, and nutritious food to those they serve.
Note: Food Share (formerly Food Stamps) can only be used to buy food – nothing else. Not soap, diapers or toothpaste.
Communities have donated $2 million dollars worth of hygiene items to their local crisis programs through The Family’s Help for the Homeless hygiene drive since 2008. The goal of the drive is to supply a year’s worth of products to each agency.
In Wisconsin Rapids, “Help for the Homeless” will benefit The Family Center Domestic Violence Shelter and (SWEPS) South Wood Emerging Pantry Shelf & Warming Shelter.
“Last time I looked at the ‘toiletries shelf’ there were only a few bottles of shampoo and no diapers,” said Sue Sippel, executive director at The Family Center, an agency for victims of domestic and/or sexual abuse in Wisconsin Rapids. “In fact, right now our entire toiletries supply fits on two shelves of a small bookcase.”
Supported by grants, donations, and fundraisers, The Family Center provides all its services – including shelter – at no cost to victims.
“We shelter about 60 families a year, and you can be sure we’re looking forward to our first year of participating in the Family’s Help for the Homeless, partnering with South Wood Emerging Pantry Shelf, to help more residents in the Wisconsin Rapids community,” Sippel said.