Rotary Club Donates Hundreds of Hygiene Kits to Residents at Salvation Army Shelters
The Salvation Army’s Evangeline Booth Lodge and Shield of Hope homeless shelters were the grateful recipients of hundreds of hygiene kits assembled and donated by the Rotary club on November 14. Each kit contained hand soap, hand towels, toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, conditioning shampoo, hand sanitizer, socks, a face mask, and a local resource guide. The donation was part of the creation and distribution of 10,000 hygiene kits in Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle, and Los Angeles.
These five cities were home to the first five Rotary clubs in the world, and this project marked the first effort of the Rotary First Five Collaborative. The group began in the spring of 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was spreading across the country. For their first joint project, the collaborative decided to address an issue prevalent in all five cities: homeless individuals who have no access to basic hygiene items.
“We also wanted to have a partner that was universal across all five cities, and considering the strong relationship between Rotary and The Salvation Army across the U.S., The Salvation Army was the obvious choice,” said Erik Cempel, president of the Rotary Club of Chicago, the birthplace of Rotary.
“We see the hygiene kit as a catalyst to engage with homeless individuals and connect them with other critical services,” he said. “The hygiene kits are just a lifeline, but we see this as the first step in a longer, substantive process addressing the root causes of homelessness.”
Carol Randolph, director of Evangeline Booth Lodge, was grateful for the donation. “These are items that were needed and will be used,” she said of the hygiene kit contents. “Often, these are items that families need due to a lack of income. It helped to provide these items, so the program does not have to incur the cost of purchasing such items.”
In addition to the hygiene kits, Rotary volunteers provided 300 meals to Booth Lodge and Shield of Hope residents, which were distributed according to each facility’s COVID protocols. Erik said that the few clients he and other volunteers were able to speak with were very appreciative, especially the children.
“In general, what stood out to me was how incredibly nice and accommodating all the Salvation Army staff were,” he said. “They provided food and beverages, and even helped us pack the kits. They made the project much easier and were incredible partners. We look forward to working together again in the future!” Thanks, Rotary Club! We do too!
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For tax purposes: The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division EIN is 36-2167910.