Even Soap Can Make a Difference!

Imagine yourself working in your yard or garden on a hot, muggy summer day. Picture yourself working up a nice sweat whilst hiking a long, dusty mountain trail. Or think of those long, fun, hot days at amusement parks. We all can relate to one of those type of scenarios. We enjoy the feeling of sweating because it gives us the sense of accomplishment. But nothing feels better than taking a nice, long shower after a long day of labor. The feeling that a good shower or bath gives is energizing! Instantly, you feel refreshed and ready to take on the next activity.

We all enjoy the peace and refreshment that a shower provides. And it’s a daily activity that we probably take for granted. Just imagine how different your day would be without clean, warm water or soap and shampoo.

Unfortunately, the homeless in our community know that feeling all too well. Wandering from city to city, sleeping in parks, following train tracks, whatever their activity, the homeless often times go without basic American necessities, like bathing.

Bathing is an amazing activity. Not only does it rejuvenate the body but it also awakens the mind. For some of these transients, the simple act of showering and cleaning up helps to break down barriers and restore some self worth.

At the Hope Center, we understand the value of a shower. As silly as that sounds, we know the importance that bathing has to the individual as well as society. So when a transient arrives at the Hope Center, he is given a bag of toiletries – just for him!

The bag is full of travel-sized essentials like soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, disposable razors, shave cream and a washcloth. When available, we also provide a comb, tissues, floss and lotion. The transients are also given a towel to use during their stay at the Hope Center. The towels are washed each day so that each man has a fresh towel to use.

Men in Foundations, our 13-month residential program, are given full-sized toiletries. Once they are more established in the program, they are able to purchase their toiletries with the stipend they receive. If they are unable to afford items, we do make sure they receive what is needed. Residents also receive a new towel, washcloth and pillow.

Would you like to help us improve the quality of life for the many men who come into the Hope Center? If so, how about this weekend when you’re out shopping for your family, try to grab an extra pack of soap or some travel-sized bottles of shampoo?  Be on the look out for special deals at various stores. Whenever you find a free sample size, think of us! Maybe you could raid your bathroom closet or under your sink and find all those free soaps and shampoos from hotels. Throw them into a bag and drop them off. We’ll use them! If you’d like to donate mouthwash, please be sure that it is the alcohol-free kind. We do not give out mouthwash that contains alcohol as a safety measure.

Putting together a toiletry kit is an activity that kids can get involved with as well. After you’ve collected your toiletries, the kids can pack them in a ziplock bag and include a note or card of encouragement for the transients or residents. It’s a nice way to brighten someone’s day!

Why not talk to your Sunday School class, youth group, office, civic club or another group you’re involved with about collecting these much needed items? By donating items like these, we can use our monetary resources in other ways to reach people in need.

If you’d like more info about how you can help or you’d like to schedule a time to drop off these items, please call our office at 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

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