This is the letter I sent to the members of my prayer group and I'm about to post in my blog. I know my fellow Blog Sisters can't contribute to our particular drive, but maybe some of your will implement the idea in your own area.
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This is the time of year when we often collect and distribute items for people who are displaced or having a rough time-- women in shelters, kids in group homes, people who are homeless. Often we are encouraged to gather various smelly bath and body products, especially for girls and women. But I have been thinking:
One of the reasons people fall on especially hard times is health problems. What if you were down and out, and also suffered from asthma (as do many children,) allergies or headaches?
I would like to start an unscented product drive. I think our first recipients should be women in a domestic violence shelter. What do you think about that as a first recipient?
Here is how we do it: You can buy the products, or you can donate toward their purchase. It's more expensive than just picking up a bunch of travel-bottle shampoo samples or whatever is on sale at BeautyMart, but this is why our help in this area is most needed. Don't feel obligated to buy a ton of stuff; just one item would be helpful. Here is the product list:
Free & Clear Shampoo and Conditioner: Available at Walgreen's pharmacy, Target Pharmacy and through National Allergy Supply at 800.522.1448 or http://www.nationalallergysupply.com
Cetaphil Soap-Free Cleanser. Available at any supermarket, drugstore, Target, Wal-Mart, etc. Smaller bottles would be better, although those are sometimes harder to find that the large ones.
Cetaphil or Lubriderm Plain Unscented Moisturizer: See if you can find the travel sizes. I often see these.
Unscented/Fragrance-Free Anti-Perspirant: There is no such thing as an unscented deoderant, so it has to be anti-perspirant. Two brand suggestions: Arm & Hammer Baking Soda and Dove.
Washcloths: For other drives, I have bought the cheap, colorful ones at Target.