OCEAN TOWNSHIP - A new charity drive is asking Monmouth County residents to donate hygiene products, toiletries, and personal care products - basic necessities that are in high demand at local women’s shelters.
“It’s easy to take these basic items - like toilet paper, soap, or other hygiene products - for granted,” said Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-Freehold), whose legislative office is hosting the drive. “But government assistance programs often don’t cover their costs, forcing many people - and especially impoverished women - to go without these necessary products. By donating these simple items, you’re helping these recipients - including mothers with small children, students, survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, veterans, and seniors - to live with dignity while restoring their hope for a better future.”
The drive, which was organized to commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8, will distribute all donated items to local Monmouth County women’s shelters and nonprofits, including 180 Turning Lives Around, the Affordable Housing Alliance, the Women’s Hospitality Network, Freehold Open Door.
Recommended items for donation include deodorant, laundry detergent, toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and feminine hygiene products. Additional products for donation might include shaving razors and cream, dental floss, facial tissues, toothbrushes, bar soap, cleaning products, trash bags, and Ziploc bags.
Residents can drop off donations at Downey’s legislative office at 802 West Park Avenue, Building 3, 2nd Floor, Suite 302 on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Additionally, donors who are interested in contributing by hosting a drive in their own community are encouraged to contact Downey’s office at (732) 695-3371, or by email at AswDowney@njleg.org.
“Supporting these shelters isn’t just something that we can do alone, and we recognize that more flexible donation opportunities can give many more of our neighbors a chance to help out,” said Senator Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch), who is joining with Downey to co-host the drive. “If you’d like to host your own drive at your church, temple, office, or other community space, let us know, and we’ll work with you to make sure that your donations go where they’re most needed.”
“With your donation, you’re doing more than just making a physical contribution,” said Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling (D-Neptune), another co-host of the drive. “You’re helping another person to attend to their most basic human needs - and that’s a powerful force for dignity, self-care, and hope.”
“Oftentimes, the women who come to our program are carrying all of their earthly possessions with them,” said Stan Rosenthal, a volunteer with the Women’s Hospitality Network, an all-volunteer program that assists women experiencing homelessness in the Asbury Park and Neptune area. “Providing these necessities empowers women to be more confident when they go out to look for housing and jobs.”