Help for the Homeless Hygiene Drive

Imagine life without soap, taking a shower without shampoo, or trying to care for an infant without diapers. Or, imagine sleeping on a floor whilst rats and mice crawl over you, biting your skin and leaving dirt all over your body. Whilst this may sound like it could easily be resolved by a quick trip to the store or a visit to a pest controller on a site like, it is something that many homeless people have to deal with on a daily basis and can’t do anything about.

Thus, we are thankful to the many companies, agencies, and Wisconsin residents who helped to make the annual Help for the Homeless Hygiene Drive a phenomenal success this year. Running from February 21st to March 13th, participants raised donations valuing over $70,000 for hygienic and cleaning necessities such toothpaste, laundry detergent, garbage bags, and disposable diapers.

As part of this drive, Forward Service Corporation provides individuals and families enrolled in the Supportive Housing Program with hygiene products, at no cost to them, as need arises. Agencies participating in this drive receive boxes of such products for members of their respective aid programs. Participation involves dropping donation boxes off at designated sites, transporting the donations, and then sorting and distributing them at the end of the drive.

It is important that everyone has access to clean hygiene products, and are able to access services when required. This goes a long way in making sure they are healthy and functioning. For instance, some families are unable to go to doctors and dentists because they cannot afford it, but with help like this, as well as donations, they will be able to go to a dentist Herndon clinic, or one similar to it, without the worry that they won’t be able to pay. There are good samaritans everywhere.

Our teammates Penny Huffman, Carrie Zinda, and Robin Kuklinski each deserve a shout-out for their great efforts to coordinate with 20 different agencies in 8 different counties participating in the drive this year.

Penny Huffman diligently coordinated the drive in the Northern Wisconsin Initiative to Stop Homeless (N*WISH) Continuum of Care, including the counties of Forest, Langlade, Oneida, and Forest. Five agencies participated in the drive, raising donations valuing $13,701, a 35% increase from last year.

Meanwhile, Carrie Zinda assisted with planning and implementing the Future of Housing Continuum of Care to include the counties of Marinette and Oconto. In Oconto alone, two major companies provided abundant donations, and there were four agencies who participated in this Continuum of Care, making this the biggest year they have had since she has been involved.

Finally, Robin Kuklinski was instrumental in coordinating the drive representing the Brown County Homeless and Housing Coalition. They raised a fantastic 28,740 items donated, valued at $56, 987. An additional $1200 were raised in cash donations to be divided by the 11 agencies who participated in the drive.

Congratulations to the housing team for working to make these drives a success for your communities and those we serve!