Monday, June 23, 2008

Helping Hand

There are so many small ways we can help others. We just need to find one that we can do which will make a difference no matter how great or small. One of the ways I try to help my community is by collecting hotel soaps from my trips and those of my traveling co-workers. I then deliver them to a local homeless shelter. I have sent several messages out over the years to my co-workers asking them to not forget to bring home all of those hotel soaps, shampoo, lotions, etc whenever they may travel. The homeless will benefit from your thoughtfulness.

The homeless shelters can use soap, shampoo, conditioners, lotions, shower caps, toothbrushes, shave kits, and any of the other little toiletries items the hotels normally leave out free for guest. These little items can make a big difference in someone’s life. The shelter puts the items out in a basket so their residents can take what they need. They can have their own personal bottle of shampoo, a toothbrush or whatever they may need.

All of the changing TSA regulations for air travel has decreased the number of items we have been able to collect but those which do make it back to the office are greatly appreciated. With the changing airline luggage policies it may not be possible to throw these goodies into your carry on bag but they are still allowed in checked baggage. If you are traveling by car or bus it is much easier to bring them back.

I have a box under my desk in my cubical to collect what my co-workers bring in. When the box gets full I make trip to the shelter and start collecting for the next delivery. This past weekend I boxed up what has been accumulating under my desk for delivery. Since my first deliver in 2004 we have collected 4,046 items for the homeless shelter.

So next time you are traveling and staying in a hotel which offers complementary toiletries consider who might benefit from them if you aren’t going to be using them.

Pass it on….

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