By Nivi Sudhir Kumar - Hands4Hope Folsom Community Engagement Intern and Vista del Lago High School Club PR Representative
The 12th Annual Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference Toiletries Drive was focused on supporting those who lost their homes in or were displaced because of the Caldor Fire this past year, as well as those in our community struggling to make ends meet.
The Hands4Hope - Youth making A Difference Community Engagement Interns from our geographic areas of focus, including Folsom, El Dorado Hills, and Placerville, contacted several elementary schools to host their own toiletries drives. Each school advertised the drive through posters and flyers that included information about their drives and items to collect such as dental supplies, body wash, sunscreen, kleenex, lotion, and more. The drives lasted two weeks in mid-February.
All the donated toiletries were picked up from the participating schools and were sorted and counted by Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference youth volunteers at various events. In total, the seven elementary schools that participated in this drive collected 6,903 items! In addition, Datwyler Orthodontics in El Dorado Hill also hosted a collection.
All the toiletries will be donated to Hands4Hope partner agencies throughout El Dorado and Sacramento counties including Loaves & Fishes and Green Valley Community Church, as well as to those directly affected by the Caldor Fire. Additionally, the toiletries have been very well received by the families benefiting from the Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference Emergency Food Pantry in Placerville.
The Traveling Trophy is given to the school that collected the most toiletries in its specific region. The 2022 winners of the Traveling Toiletries Drive Trophy are Jackson Elementary, Gold Ridge Elementary, and California Montessori Project! A huge thank you also to Natoma Station Elementary, Oak Meadow Elementary, Country Day Montessori, and Gold Trail Elementary for giving the winners a tough challenge. Thank you to Datwyler Orthodontics for their tremendous support in contributing to the total items.