United Way Collects Personal Care Items for Local Families

June marks the beginning of United Way of 1000 Lakes’ annual Health & Hygiene Drive. Now in its ninth year, the program helps families and individuals throughout the Itasca area meet their personal care needs. 

Now through the end of the month, caring community members can collect and donate items like toothpaste, diapers, deodorant, and shampoo. Donated items can be delivered to a dropbox site in the community, the locations of which include AmeriPrise Financial (Jennifer Bymark’s office), Deerwood Bank, First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Klockow Brewing Company, KOOTASCA (located in Central Square Mall), Recover Health, and Woodland Bank’s Hill City location. Financial donations can be made by texting LAKES to 26989 or visiting uwlakes.org/#donate

Donated items will be packaged into care packages and distributed to youth, veterans, unhoused residents, and members of vulnerable populations throughout Itasca County. Advocates, teachers, and other human service professionals can request adult, child, or family care packages by calling United Way at 218-999-7570 or emailing info@uwlakes.org.

By providing personal and household care items, United Way seeks to relieve some of the burden faced by households struggling to make ends meet. “Instability often leads to tough choices,” said United Way Executive Director Kim Brink Smith. “Providing health and hygiene necessities can mean that families don’t need to choose between buying detergent or buying food, or between buying diapers and filling up the car with gas.” 

Individuals and groups wishing to support the Health & Hygiene drive can donate, find online wish lists, sign up to volunteer, and more at uwlakes.org/hygiene-drive.

Ways you can help

  • Host a dropbox at your church, organization, civic group, or business. Collect much-needed care items throughout the month of June, and call United Way at 218-999-7570 when donations are ready to be picked up.
  • Text LAKES to 26989 to sponsor a virtual package, or shop from one of United Way’s wishlists at Target or Amazon.
  • Pack a personal care pack at home! Purchase items and pack them in a cinch sack, laundry basket, tote bag, or repurposed T-shirt. Instructions can be found at uwlakes.org/hygiene-drive.

Needed items include:

  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • toothpaste 
  • toothbrushes
  • deodorant
  • razors & shaving cream
  • soap
  • lip balm
  • sun protection
  • laundry detergent
  • cleaning supplies
  • first aid supplies
  • diapers & baby wipes
  • feminine hygiene products
  • paper products
  • washcloths, hand & bath towels
  • prepaid gas cards

*Full-size new unopened items only accepted.