Every year, The Night Ministry distributes thousands of hygiene kits to the individuals it serves on the streets of Chicago. The kits are filled with travel- or sample-size toiletry items such as deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, and soap to help clients maintain their personal hygiene, and the agency relies on the generosity of its supporters to provide these essentials.
But just as it has interrupted so much of our lives, the coronavirus has disrupted the pipeline of hygiene item donations to The Night Ministry.
"A lot of our supporters would bring back travel-size toiletries they'd pick up in hotels during their trips and donate them to us," said Miranda Dean, Resource Coordinator at The Night Ministry. "But with fewer people traveling now because of COVID-19, those donations have slowed down."
"Another big source of hygiene kits would be school, church, or corporate groups that would make hygiene kits as a service project or team-building activity," Dean said. "But because people can't really gather in groups, we've had a decline in the number of hygiene kits coming in."
The Night Ministry's biggest hygiene item needs at the moment are toothbrushes, travel-size conditioner, and travel or full-size deodorant. They can be easily ordered and shipped directly to the agency through its Amazon wish list* but you can also collect what you may already have or acquire them elsewhere yourself and drop items off at The Night Ministry.
Although we are accepting loose items, if it is safe for you to do so, you may want to consider collecting hygiene items and then packing them into kits at home to donate to The Night Ministry. The elements of a hygiene kit, placed in a gallon-size zip-lock bag include:
All items are appreciated in travel/sample-size, unless noted:
*Please select "The Night Ministry's Gift Registry Address" for the shipping address when checking out on Amazon.