There are many generous programs to help families in need during the holiday season, especially with toys for children and food for people of all ages. Things that are equally in demand – but less often given – are bathroom items and other household essentials.
Recognizing that, some employees of the Denair Unified School District and their partners at Sierra Vista Child & Family Services and the Center for Human Services are teaming up this year for the first time to provide hygiene baskets to about 75 Denair families.
The plan is to distribute the baskets on Thursday, Dec. 17 between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. during the daily food pickup at Denair Middle School. That is the last food distribution for Denair families with children before the two-week Christmas break begins.
The hygiene baskets will include basic items like shampoo and conditioner, tooth brushes and tooth paste, body lotion, shower gel, shaving products, deodorant, disposable wipes, Q-tips, dental floss, hand sanitizer, soap, lip balm, mouthwash, bandages and possibly even bath towels.
“There are other organizations that distribute food, clothes and toys,” said Maria Olivas, the English Language Development coordinator for the school district. “Just from knowing our families and their lack of resources, we realized this was a set of items that they could use and be able to save money for food.”
Olivas is working with employees from Sierra Vista and the Center for Human Services to coordinate donations and distribution. Both Modesto nonprofits provide mental health services to the school district. Already, items have been received from DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto, the Stanislaus Chinese Association/Stanislaus Emergency Assistance Association, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services/Raiz Promotores and the Hughson Family Resource Center.
Olivas said a letter will be sent this week to businesses in Denair and Turlock seeking additional items.
“Our goal is to help 75 families,” said Olivas, adding that many of the Spanish-speaking families in need often do not receive assistance from traditional sources.
Community members who would like to donate items or even money should call Olivas at (209) 881-7541 to make arrangements.