Keeping hands and homes clean is a key factor in slowing the spread of COVID-19, a significant challenge for those without a home, access to running water or who can’t afford basic hygiene items.
This is why the Neighbourhood Response Team — powered by the United Way of Greater Victoria and working in partnership with the Better Business Bureau, Big Brothers Big Sisters Greater Victoria, HeroWork Society and Soap for Hope Canada — is hoping to collect 2,500 personal hygiene products on Saturday, April 25.
The collection takes place at three locations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — the parking lot of the Westshore Learning Centre at 2139 Sooke Rd. in Colwood; in the parking lot of Tulista Park at 9565 Fifth St. in Sidney and in the parking lot of the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre at 1925 Blanshard St. in Victoria.
Some of the items the team is looking to collect include shampoo and conditioner of any size, body wash, body lotion, deodorant, toothpaste, dental floss and toothbrushes, sunscreen, razors for men and women and pads, tampons and incontinence products.
People dropping off items are asked to remain in their vehicles at all times, follow volunteer instructions and only attend if they’re feeling healthy. People are also asked to combine the drop off with other errands to limit their time outside.
All items collected will be quarantined for five days before being distributed back into the community.
Soap for Hope Canada is working with the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness, as well as shelters, transitional homes, food banks, low income senior facilities, schools, Indigenous communities and refugees to provide the hygiene amenities they need to stay healthy.
This initiative is made possible by the United Way Greater Victoria’s Local Love in a Global Crisis fund, which targets four areas in response to the pandemic: providing additional help to isolated seniors; augmenting mental health and addictions support services; helping the social service sector prioritize and deliver urgent needs and providing hotel accommodation for essential service workers.