Charity Connect Alberta, an Airdrie-based group formerly known as Soap For Hope YYC, is seeking donations of body wash, shampoo, conditioner and soap to help provide dignity to those in the region who cannot easily afford to buy these products.
“With the economy and everything, it broke our hearts to see people who needed stuff and couldn’t get it,” explained volunteer coordinator Cheryl Babey. “The importance is dignity for people. A lot of times, especially with the price of groceries and everything going up, families have to feed themselves and they don’t have a lot of money left over.”
Babey said her organization also provides hygiene products to local schools and any individuals in need.
Donated products are re-poured and refurbished into smaller containers by Charity Connect Alberta’s dedicated volunteers, and put together into free hygiene kits. The kits also include hand-crocheted cloths, which are also made by local volunteers.
Babey said collection bins have been set up at Airdrie’s BMO branches, the Real Canadian Superstore, Nutters, and at Burton’s Buttons. All products are gratefully accepted, she added – even bottles and soaps that may have been previously opened.
“So if people have any of those products, then they can drop them off in the bins,” said Babey. “We will pick them up from the bins, process them, and give them out to anybody in the community who needs them.”
Anybody looking to donate to Charity Connect Alberta or ask for the organization’s free hygiene kits is welcome to email email@example.com. All requests will be kept strictly confidential.
“We are just a group of people who want to help where needed, and we appreciate everything people can give even in the smallest way to help others,” Babey stated. “Everybody deserves dignity.”
Soap For Hope YYC was originally formed in Airdrie in 2016, when the charity collected sanitary and hygiene items that would otherwise be thrown out. In 2019, the charity relocated to a facility in north Calgary, though many of its members and recipients continued to be from Airdrie.
The charity officially went on hiatus in 2021 after donations dried up during the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization had relied heavily on donated items from hotels, which saw steep declines in business in 2020 and 2021.
While current volunteers with Charity Connect Alberta have deep roots in Soap For Hope YYC, the new organization does not have registered charity status, and cannot issue tax receipts.