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Personal care items sought for Have a Heart Restock Drive

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    Lourdes students Shannon Fischer, a junior of Toledo, and C.J. Rilveria grab bags to transport donations from the Campus Visitor Center to the Franciscan Center for the Have a Heart Restock Drive at Lourdes University in Sylvania on Thursday.

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    From left, Lourdes students C.J. Rilveria, a graduate student of Maui, Hi.; Shannon Fischer, a junior of Toledo, and Brendan Brown, a junior of Pittsburgh, Pa., transport donations from the Campus Visitor Center to the Franciscan Center for the Have a Heart Restock Drive at Lourdes University in Sylvania on Thursday.

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  • CTY-heart03-1

    Brendan Brown, a junior of Pittsburgh, Pa., grabs bags to transport donations from the Campus Visitor Center to the Franciscan Center for the Have a Heart Restock Drive at Lourdes University in Sylvania on Thursday.

    The Blade/Kurt Steiss
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    Donations at the Franciscan Center for the Have a Heart Restock Drive at Lourdes University in Sylvania on Thursday.

    The Blade/Kurt Steiss
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  • CTY-heart03-2

    From left, Lourdes students Shannon Fischer, a junior of Toledo; C.J. Rilveria, a graduate student of Maui, Hi., and Brendan Brown, a junior of Pittsburgh, Pa., transport donations from the Campus Visitor Center to the Franciscan Center for the Have a Heart Restock Drive at Lourdes University in Sylvania on Thursday.

    The Blade/Kurt Steiss
    Buy This Image

  • CTY-heart03-3

    Brendan Brown, a junior of Pittsburgh, Pa., transports donations from the Campus Visitor Center to the Franciscan Center for the Have a Heart Restock Drive at Lourdes University in Sylvania on Thursday.

    The Blade/Kurt Steiss
    Buy This Image

  • CTY-heart03-6

    Some of the donations in the donation bin for the Have a Heart Restock Drive at Lourdes University in Sylvania on Thursday.

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  • CTY-heart03-7

    Some of the donations in the donation bin for the Have a Heart Restock Drive at Lourdes University in Sylvania on Thursday.

    The Blade/Kurt Steiss
    Buy This Image

Families in need who utilize area food pantries may also be struggling to afford basic personal care items that can’t be purchased with public-assistance food cards.

It’s a burden the Sylvania Franciscan Village hopes to help alleviate each year through its Have a Heart Restock Drive. The seventh annual drive began Jan. 29 and runs through Thursday with donation boxes at Lourdes University, Sylvania schools, and local businesses.

"People appreciate any of these items because otherwise they have to use their own money to purchase them,” Sophia Lloyd, director of the village, said. “You can't use food stamps for these items."

The drive collects goods like toilet paper, laundry and dish soap, deodorant, shampoo, feminine products, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and other basic toiletries. Area businesses like Kroger and Meijer also support the initiative.

"It's been successful,” Ms. Lloyd said. “We find that each year we get greater support from the community because the awareness increases."

The drive is purposely planned early in the year. A number of the Sisters of St. Francis have volunteered in area food banks and noticed the after-effects of the holiday rush.

"They became aware that after the holidays, the shelves of the pantries got low,” Ms. Lloyd said. "It's restocking depleted shelves of the local pantries."

The items will be distributed Friday to Bethany House, Claver House, Helping Hands of St. Louis, Our Lady of Lourdes Outreach Soup Kitchen, Sylvania Area Family Services, and USTogether.

The village expects this year’s drive to be another success.

"We had to empty a couple of our donation bins already, so that's been wonderful,” Ms. Lloyd said.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Reiter at 419-824-3515 or go to www.sylvaniafranciscanvillage.org.

Those wishing to make a monetary donation can also contact Ms. Lloyd at 419-824-3533.

Contact Alexandra Mester amester@theblade.com419-724-6066, or on Twitter @AlexMesterBlade.

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