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Toiletries Drive Collects More Than 7,300 Items for those in Need

By Evan Suneson, 11th grade

Hands4Hope Community Engagement Ambassador - Folsom

Valerie Antkowiak, Sudeep Mazumder, Tarika Kahlon, Reneta Bell, Ozby Bell, and Suzie Bell counted and sorted donated toiletries at the Hands4Hope Youth Center in El Dorado Hills.

The 14th Annual Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference Toiletries Drive focused on supporting those in our community who are struggling to make ends meet, as well as those who lost their homes and remain displaced by the Caldor Fire. A total of 7 elementary schools, 1 middle school, and 10 local businesses collected 7,375 items during the Hands4Hope Toiletries Drive.

The Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference Community Engagement Youth Ambassadors worked with elementary schools in the Folsom, El Dorado, and Placerville areas to collect toiletries. Each school advertised through posters and flyers that included information about their supply drive and which items were most requested such as dental supplies, deodorant, hair products, and sunscreen. Local businesses, a soccer club, and community members also supported Hands4Hope by hosting a collection barrel. 

All donations were picked up from the participating schools and businesses by the Ambassadors, who then led multiple Counting and Sorting Events. All the donated items were then packed to be distributed to various agencies in our community who directly work with those in need, such as Upper Room Dining Hall, Green Valley Community Church, Sister Nora’s Place, Children’s Receiving Home, Loaves and Fishes, City of Refuge, Powerhouse Ministries, Folsom’s Hope, and Twin Lakes Food Bank. Many of the donations will also be stocked at the Hands4Hope Placerville Youth Center to be distributed throughout the year through the Emergency Food Pantry Committee. 

The schools participating this year were Oak Meadow Elementary, Jackson Elementary, Lake View Elementary, Gold Ridge Elementary, Buckeye Elementary, Gold Trail School, California Montessori Project, and Pleasant Grove Middle School. The local businesses participating this year were Lyon Real Estate in Cameron Park, Shingle Springs and Placerville Snap Fitness, Folsom Massage Heights, Folsom Kaia Fit, Legends Real Estate, Reliance Home Loans, AspireKids, Heritage Community, and Folsom Lake Surf Soccer Club. 

The Traveling Trophy is awarded to the schools that collect the most toiletries in its specific region. The 2024 winners of the Toiletries Drive Traveling Trophy are Gold Ridge Elementary, Oak Meadow Elementary, and California Montessori Project. They are able to proudly display their efforts at their school for the entire year! 


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