The initial response was great, but now students from Sullivan Central High School's Health Occupations Students of America chapter need help from the community to keep the project going.
Four seniors - Amber Jones, Jessi Nelson, Tia Rosenbalm and Dakota Tomlinson, who make up the community awareness team for Central's HOSA chapter - sent out the call last November for supplies to make hygiene kits, which are made out of washcloths sewn to create pockets.
The students' goal was to create 2,000 kits. Instead, they received more than 9,000 washcloths.
Now, the HOSA chapter is once again calling on the community, this time to provide items to stock the kits, including travel-size containers of toothpaste, shampoo, soap and deodorant.
"We have a lot of toothpaste and we've gotten a lot of soap from hotels," Rosenbalm said. "We have some shampoo, but not a lot. We have toothbrushes, but not a lot. We need a lot of deodorant.
"We have had several different hotels and dentist's offices donate stuff. (But) even if they (community members) can't donate toothbrushes or toothpaste ... monetary funds are just as useful."
The project started as part of a HOSA "Community Awareness" competition. The group has traveled around to different organizations discussing abuse and allowing others to make personalized hygiene kits for distribution at several organizations across the Tri-Cities.
Rosenbalm hopes, however, that the project continues long after all the competitions are over.
"We chose abuse as our health topic and we just wanted to inform as many people about it as we could," Rosenbalm said. "We're hoping that our HOSA chapter will adopt the project and that they'll continue it on next year. We're hoping that it just doesn't stop."
To find out more information on the project or to make supply or monetary donations, contact Central's HOSA sponsor Regina Davenport at 354-1200 or 354-1239.