Those extra toiletries can make a difference

AAA’s Soap for Hope drive benefits YWCA’s ALIVE Shelter

BREMERTON — This is the 10th year of AAA Washington’s Soap for Hope drive. And organizers hope to breach the 1 million mark of items donated.

The Bremerton AAA office will donate its collected items to the YWCA’s ALIVE Shelter.

“Our Bremerton [office] has given their Soap for Hope donations to the YWCA all 10 years,” AAA spokeswoman Jennifer Cook said. “AAA Bremerton has so far donated a total of 19,871 items to the YWCA ALIVE Shelter.”

YWCA’s ALIVE (Alternatives to Living in a Violent Environment) Shelter provides emergency housing and a comprehensive range of support services for domestic violence victims and their children.

Soap for Hope is a drive that collects toiletries to donate to those in need.

“It started as a way to donate the small travel-size items you pick up at a hotel that most people have in the back of a bathroom drawer, but it has grown to include full-size items as well,” Cook said.

“Soap for Hope is important for a few reasons,” Cook said. “It keeps travel toiletries from being tossed without being used, it provides important resources to those in need, and the donations stay in the community they are donated to help your neighbors in need.”

In the decade since the drive started, AAA Washington (which includes all of Washington and North Idaho) has collected 964,221 items; the goal this year, Cook said, is to pass the 1 million mark.

“We’ve had a wonderful response from our members, the public and local businesses,” Cook said. “We often have local dentists or hotels make large donations. We’ve had local groups, such as preschools and Girl Scouts, hold their own donation drive and bring in the donations.”

Donations are being collected until the end of the year at AAA Bremerton, 5700 Kitsap Way, Bremerton. They’re looking for unused toiletries, such as those provided by hotels or samples from a dentist’s office; and new, full- and sample-sized toiletry items like conditioner, deodorant, lotion, razors, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste.

“Every year, we have more and more donations come in,” Cook said. “Our communities are very generous.”

Learn more about Soap for Hope at wa.aaa.com/soap-for-hope. Learn more about the YWCA at ywcakitsap.org.

Michelle Beahm is the online editor for the Kitsap News Group. She can be reached at mbeahm@soundpublishing.com.

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