Colorful handmade posters announcing the upcoming hygiene drive fanned out across work tables as students concentrated on adding lettering to cardboard boxes.
Hudson Webster hoisted a cardboard box with the words “Hygiene Drive” inscribed across the surface. It was punctuated with smiley faces.
“We are bringing this box to the fourth-grade class for the hygiene drive,” he said. “It’s so they can put all the donated items in there.”
Now in its third year, the hygiene drive offers something good for all involved. The students collecting the donations are flexing their organizational, communications and leadership skills while Coastside Hope benefits by receiving the items collected during the drive.
“A lot of people, when they donate, they donate clothing or food,” said sixth-grade student Carla Roberts. “They forget about hygiene even though it’s necessary for staying healthy, so we’re trying to raise awareness for that.”
The hygiene drive goes hand-in-hand with what the students are learning in class.
“It’s great, because it fits into the curriculum and they are giving back,” said Director of Physical Education Katie Moore. “In class, the students are learning about deodorant and bacteria. We also talk about how in some schools there are kids who are unable to come to school with clean clothes.
“That’s the thing that we talk about here, what’s it like to only have five things, a pair of shoes, a shirt, underwear and have to wear those same things to school every day,” she continued. “Nobody here knows what that’s like, but there are many families in our community that do, and they may not have laundry detergent because they need to use that money for food or to pay a bill.”
Their mission clear, the students were divided into groups and set out to accomplish a laundry list of tasks, including creating an online form so members of the community could sign up to donate specific items.
“You feel like you’re doing something for people,” said Kaylani Guevara. “It just feels good.”
The students are hoping others in the community will donate to the worthy cause.
In addition to soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, they are hoping to collect items such as deodorant, face wash, mouthwash, shampoo, conditioner, combs, hair brushes, razors, shaving cream, foot powder, lotion, sunblock, Q-tips, tweezers, nail clippers, laundry soap, wash cloths and towels.
The deadline for donations is April 28. For more information email Katie Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.