WEMI/Appleton (The Family) The Family Radio Network’s 2020 “Help for the Homeless” hygiene drive received more than $428,000 worth of donated hygiene and cleaning supplies this spring for 89 crisis agencies in 15 of their listening communities. Agency staff and volunteers collected, counted and squirreled the donations away in mid-March, just days before COVID-19 restrictions took place. More than 20,000 rolls of nearly-impossible-to-find toilet paper were included in the mix.
Since its beginning in 1992, “Help for the Homeless” donations have provided more than $3.7 million dollars’ worth of hygiene supplies to local Wisconsin crisis programs and those they serve. Donations remain in the communities where they are collected. The goal of “Help for the Homeless” is to supply a year’s worth of products to each agency.
“This could not have come at a better time for us and the nonprofit community. Thank you for making this happen year after year. You are a blessing.” Cindy Sahotsky, Executive Director, COTS
“Last summer, when my marriage of 28 years was about to end, I tried to commit suicide while living in a shelter for battered women. Living in a shelter and having to ask someone for feminine products was one of the most humbling things I’ve ever done. When I left, I was homeless for another 2 months until my doctors gave me permission to return to work. I now have an apartment and I’m doing okay. I’m sharing my story because I want people to know that these women and children are in such crisis mode – from being battered, to sex trafficking, to you name it. They truly appreciate every single item they receive! And the shelter; I’ve never met such wonderful staff! They are truly compassionate, and they still call me to make sure things are going okay.” – Deb
“Kids without laundry soap are wearing dirty, smelly clothes to school – where they’re then often excluded or picked on. In the higher grades they skip school because they’re embarrassed by their soiled clothing and hair. When we can discretely offer them laundry soap, bodywash, deodorant, dental and hair products, it gives them self-confidence, and improves their school attendance and performance. These simple items make a BIG difference for our families. Thank you!” – Yeng Yang, School Social Worker, Menasha Joint School District.
The Family works together with area homeless coalitions, inviting people to donate hygiene and cleaning items to their local crisis programs to help the programs direct their limited financial resources to provide qualified staff, counseling, shelter, and food to those they serve.
More than 937 local businesses, churches, and schools participated for three weeks this spring by placing collection boxes in their high traffic areas and inviting their own staff, members and students to donate.
The Family Radio Network, Inc, along with the 89 crisis programs, thanks everyone who hosted boxes, donated, volunteered for, and sponsored the drive!