I took the lead position on the service project known as Bruin Campus Cupboard Hygiene Drive in January of 2017.  The project consisted of a hygiene drive that benefitted the students of Salt Lake Community College.  Through a coordinated effort between several different SLCC entities we were able to plan the project, set goals, advertise, gather donations, put kits together, and finally, distribute the kits to students. Each kit had AT LEAST the following, a bottle of shampoo and conditioner, a shaving razor, soap/body wash, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste.  However, the kits were not limited to those items, we were able to add shaving cream, lotion, floss, loofas, bath salts, hair products, and every other hygiene item you can think of.  Even further, many more hygiene items were donated to us that the pantry has began to distribute to students on an as needed basis.  Items such as feminine hygiene products and diapers were among the many that the students will be able to benefit from outside of what they received in the kits.  As you will see in the following photographs, each kit was the size of a gallon size Ziplock bag, and many of them were literally bursting at the seams.  All in all, we were able to make over 250 fully finished kits, not to mention all the other hygiene products we have been able to begin to give away. 

Another reason for excitement over the success of this drive, is because of what these kits will do for the students of Salt Lake Community College.  The Bruin Campus Cupboard is a free pantry where students who are struggling with food-security can come and receive help in the form of the food.  One of our biggest struggles here at Bruin Campus Cupboard is to provide the students with hygiene necessities.  We receive biweekly shipments of food from the Utah Food Bank, however, these shipments do not contain hygiene products very often.  When they do, they fly off of our shelves as fast as we can put them out.  Having the ability to maintain ones hygiene is an absolute essential.  Hygiene products are not luxuries, and I'm glad that at least for the time being, we will be able to help many students meet this most imperative need. 

When we began this project, we set a goal of making 200 kits.  I really believed that we were pushing our luck setting the bar so high.  However, thanks to the generosity of students and staff who donated, staff members who sent out emails, staff and students who made fliers, students who handed them out, club members who spoke in their classes, the SLiCE (Student Leaders in Civic Engagement) team who gave us all the help and support we needed in trying to find solutions to the various obstacles we ran into, The Globe who printed the story of what we were trying to accomplish in SLCC newspaper, SLCC Student Service-LearningProject Fund that gave us 500 dollars to use toward the purchase of the hygiene items that the drive fell short on, and to everyone who helped me spend hours putting the kits together, we were able to not only meet our goal, we were able to exceed it.  This is the fourth donation drive I've personally been a part of and the second donation drive that I've led, and it is by far the most successful drive that I've been a part of.  I believe that what set this donation drive apart from the rest were the many different people who helped to make it successful.  With out the tremendous amount of help we received, we would never have been able to meet nor exceed our goal the way we did.

 This project gave me a real world idea about the very same concepts and ideas we are trying to learn here at SLCC through classes and programs such as SLiCE, The Social Work Association, and at the Bruin Campus Cupboard.  As a Social Work major, being able to go through the experience of setting up donation drives, procuring funds, asking local businesses and community members to contribute, and finally helping those in need is invaluable.  In the Social Work Association, our main goals are to identify community needs and come up with different ways to help meet those needs, which is exactly what we did here. The SLiCE program lists these benefits, among others, of participating in their program on their SLCC webpage.

  • Develop your leadership skills
  • Learn about local community needs and how you can help
  • Make a difference and promote positive change
  • Become more involved with Thayne Center programs
  • Engage fellow students in meaningful service opportunities
  • Educate students about community issues
  • Coordinate volunteer activities

I was able to accomplish each of these and so much more.  As the lead on the project I was able to gain valuable experience being a leader both in my community, in my school, and among my peers.  I was able to identify a need: students need for hygiene items and Bruin Campus Cupboard's difficulty in providing them.  I was able to bring positive change to the community here at SLCC by helping to provide students with the items they needed to remain healthy and happy.  I was able to maintain relationships with both Thayne Center programs and staff.  I was able to come to many of them in times where I needed help coming up with solutions to problems the project was having.  They were able to give me advice and help that I wouldn't have been able to find elsewhere.  I was able to provide SLCC students with a way of participating in a service project.  For many of the students that helped me, it was the first service project they had ever participated in.  Hopefully this positive experience will encourage them to carry on with service work, thus promoting more positive change with in the SLCC and Salt Lake City communities.  We were able to reach many students and teachers through the article in The Globe.  We were able to educate them on the Bruin Campus Cupboard, what it does, who it helps, how they can contribute through donations and volunteer work.  We were also able to educate them on this service project in particular and how they can both benefit from it and contribute to it.  I was able to learn how to coordinate volunteer activities by reserving a room at South City Campus as a space where we were able to put the kits together.  I sent out information to everyone on where to meet and when.  I was able to direct my peers to their various stations and show them how to use an assembly line to assemble the kits as quickly and efficiently as possible.  I was able to figure out how to get the kits to the pantry and also informed the volunteers of how they were to distribute the kits.  Finally, I made sure that all the clients from the pantry knew about the kits and know how to get them.


Finally, I would like to give a special thanks to several SLCC departments/employees that made this drive possible.  It would not have been the success it was without them: The Thayne Center, Social Work Association, the SLiCE team, Bruin Campus Cupboard, Media Department, Kathie Campbell, Dan Poole, Rebecca Van Maren, Lucy Smith, Matt Elnour, and especially to everyone who donated to our cause.  Each of you played a unique and important role in making this project the success it was, thank you!

We placed four different donation barrels around South City Campus in order to collect the donations.

The student newspaper, The Globe, was kind enough to print a story about what we do at the pantry and about the Hygiene Drive and the items we needed donated.

Sadly this photograph wasn't taken until the end of the kit making session when most of the other students had left.  Initially there were about 15 students (most of which were from the Social Work Association) who helped put together the majority of the kits.

 

Here is the final product, what you see here is a little more than 250 hygiene kits.

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