Four high school students were moved to action last spring when they learned that families struggling to put food on their tables often lack extra cash to purchase essential personal hygiene items.
The four – Rachel Dentinger (‘20), Zaheer Irani (’19), Meg Kutey (’18) and Cait Wood (’18) – served as volunteers at the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. While there, they learned that basic items like toothpaste and shampoo aren’t covered by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides nutritional assistance to eligible low-income individuals and families. As a result, families look to food pantries, homeless shelters and other residential facilities served by the Regional Food Bank for personal care items.
The students knew they wanted to do something to help. Together they came up with the idea for Soap for Hope, a collection drive for personal hygiene items.
The four students planned and organized the drive, reaching out to district schools. Shaker High School, Latham Ridge, Forts Ferry, Loudonville and Blue Creek joined in the Soap for Hope effort. They spent countless hours crafting e-mails, making posters and writing announcements in order to reach families at participating schools.
The drive was held for two weeks in April, during which time the high school students picked up donations at the schools and then sorted, boxed, labeled and delivered them to the Regional Food Bank.
In the end, 710 pounds of personal care items were collected during the drive.
Through their efforts, the students demonstrated commitment, raised awareness of a challenge faced by those in need and took action to make a difference in the lives of others.
Congratulations Meg, Cait, Rachel and Zaheer for being recognized as North Colonie Kids Care recipients for July!