International Paper, which raises significant funds for the United Way locally and nationally, donated all items needed to create the kits. This donation was part of their Community Engagement program to mobilize people, products and resources to address critical needs in the communities where their employees live and work. Each hygiene kit included two packs of feminine products, two packs of wipes and two pair of underwear.
Members of the YMCA’s Active Older Adults joined forces with United Way board members and employees from International Paper to assemble the boxes, sort items, fill and label boxes, and distribute the completed kits. “Volunteers were everywhere, all asking how they could help,” said Micah Dillon, United Way Vice President. “We all found a spot and things just started happening - fast and furious!”
Thanks to the collaboration of the volunteers, all 500 kits were assembled in less than 2 hours. “Seeing three agencies partner for a greater good is powerful,” commented Catarina Johnson, Executive Director of the James L. Camp, Jr. YMCA. Johnson added that as the group of active older adult ladies reminisced on how things were back in their younger days, they saw what a great "give back" moment this was for young girls in the community.
United Way board members delivered most of the kits to the clinics at Franklin High School, JP Middle School, Southampton High School and Southampton Middle School. The remaining kits were given to the Genieve Shelter, the Franklin Cooperative Ministry and Southampton Meadows for distribution to teens in need.
“This is but another example of different elements of the community working together to make it better—and thus better for everyone in it,” shared United Way board member Howie Soucek. “And it was fun!”