By JASON CAMPBELL
Have any extra bottles of shampoo or soap laying around?
How about that Costco-sized bag of toilet paper, or some feminine hygiene products that have been sitting unopened beneath your bathroom sink for months?
There are people in the community that would be happy to take those off of your hands.
According to Michelle Whitaker, who works as the Director of Client Services for HOPE Ministries – a non-profit that operates three individual shelters in Manteca for people from various homeless backgrounds – the biggest thing that the organization constantly needs are personal hygiene products that are constantly in short supply.
“Every year we have children that are adopted at Christmas by various churches and it seems like the moms always end up getting left out,” Whitaker said. “So if somebody was thinking about donating, then the sorts of things that a grown woman would like – spa type things and the like – would be really cool. We always concentrate on making sure that the children have a good Christmas which is what the mothers really want, but it would be special if we could get something for them too.”
And don’t forget the dads either.
Two of the properties maintained by HOPE Ministries – the HOPE Shelter on Yosemite Avenue and the transitional housing facility that was built to assist families as they prepare to enter back into the community – are able to house men along with their families, and the fathers could also benefit from personal hygiene items like razors, shaving cream, body spray, deodorant and the like.
With seven new residents set to filter in over the course of the next 10 days, HOPE Ministries is hoping that the generosity of the community will help cushion the blow for people who have found themselves with nowhere else to turn.
“We’re a service that is full all the time and we get people that donate these items but a lot of times they’re out of date or they’ve began to separate with age and they aren’t really usable,” Whitaker said. “And we can’t really accept clothes because we don’t have anywhere to store them – we’ll usually have the mothers come down and pick out what they want and we have to send the rest somewhere else.
“But we do have the room to stock toiletries and personal hygiene products, and those would be greatly appreciated.”
The HOPE Family Shelter is located at 528 W. Yosemite Avenue, and the Raymus House, for women with children, is located at 520 S. Union Road. To schedule a donation or to inquire about specific items, please contact the office at 209.824.0658.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.