|-For The Herald-Members of the Puyallup/Sumner Chamber of Commerce Leadership Institute filled a semitrailer with toiletries at Old Cannery Furniture on May 2. They will deliver the toiletries to the food banks in Sumner and Puyallup May 17.
The Leadership Institute group consists of local leaders from businesses and public agencies, such as Old Cannery Furniture, Puyallup and Sumner Police Departments, Heritage Bank, Good Samaritan Hospital, and several others.
Members of the Leadership Institute have been asking for toiletry donations since the beginning of April for their Hearts for Hygiene drive, which ends May 10.
“This drive is a huge blessing,” Shanna Peterson, director of operations at the Puyallup food bank, said. “A lot of families going through hard times can’t buy the essentials with EBT,”
Toiletries cannot be purchased with EBT.
“This is probably news to everyone in community,” Puyallup Police Department Deputy Chief, Dave McDonald, a member of the Leadership Institute, said. “It’s hard to maintain your dignity when you’re not clean.”
Toilet paper and bar soap are always guaranteed to people who need them, Peterson said. When these items are in short supply, the food bank buys them, and gets as much for its money as possible.
Buying toiletries takes away from the food budget, Peterson said.
“The quality of these products is better,” Peterson said. “When people donate, they give a higher quality product.”
For the last three years, the Leadership Institute has held peanut butter drives. When members met with food bank staff and learned that they are in short supply of hygiene items, such as shampoo, soap, tooth paste and toilet paper, they decided to have a hygiene drive.
“This is awesome,” Peterson said. “But we don’t want people to stop thinking about peanut butter.”
“Having good hygiene is a basic ingredient of dignity,” McDonald said.
Hundreds of kids are registered as homeless in Puyallup and Sumner, McDonald said.
“These kids are vulnerable to at risk of not graduating,” McDonald said. “Students need to have dignity before they will go to school. They won’t go to school if not clean.”
Costco delivered a large pile of toiletries at Old Cannery Furniture while they filled the semitrailer.
Hearts for Hygiene ends May 10
Shaving cream and razors
Locations to donate:
Puyallup City Hall 333 S. Meridian (1st and 2nd floor)
Sumner City Hall 1104 Maple St
Puyallup Police Department 311 W. Pioneer
Puyallup Library 324 S. Meridian
Heritage Bank 4627 S. Meridian, Puyallup
Heritage Bank 1005 Wood Ave, Sumner
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters 3324 142nd Ave E, Sumner
Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse 13608 Valley Ave E, Sumner