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.
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