Students for Alcohol and Drug Education are coming together to help donate toiletries for people in recovery.
The inspiration behind the drive came about after SADE President Kylie Komaridis said she noticed clothing drives are not successful.
“Most of the time, people just get ratty stuff. One of the gals in our group works for WEcovery and she said, ‘People don’t have toothbrushes and more when they come in,’” Komaridis said. “We started talking about a drive for underwear as people sometimes don’t have them when they come into treatment off the street.”
Originally deemed an underwear drive, Komaridis decided to expand it to hygiene products of all kinds.
“Underwear is a really big deal. Sometimes people go from being either homeless or from a bad situation to a facility for 90 days with not even a pair of underwear or a toothbrush,” Komaridis said.
While the drive is still including new underwear in all sizes for everyone, SADE has extended donations such as hair care, body wash and menstrual products.
Vice President Phebe Jones said she wanted to get involved with the drive because she realized how she takes her hygiene products for granted.
“If I need new shampoo or body wash, I can go buy it. There are people out there where resources need to be spent and used in other ways and because of that, there are things that get sacrificed,” Jones said. “When they go in to start their recovery journey, it’s nice to just have those things that might not have been available to them before.”
Secretary Grace Sohn said she wanted to get involved with the drive as it makes her think of dignity.
“It takes a lot of courage just to go in and get treatment. If you don’t have those basic supplies, you’re not going to feel human,” Sohn said. “I feel like you’re not going to do as well during your treatment. You’re going to be focusing on all the things that you don’t have at that time that’s making you feel comfortable.”
Once the donations have been collected, SADE is looking at distributing locations such as WEcovery/Beyond Brink and the Wellcome Manor Family Services in Garden City. However, the amount of donations will determine how they are distributed.
“It’ll be any of the facilities around here. We’re just going to wait and kind of see what we get. Instead of promising it to one, we’re going to see who needs it the most,” Komaridis said.
With donations going to those on their recovery journey, Komaridis said having hygiene drives is just one of the steps to having people reach out in regards to destigmatizing addiction.
“In any situation, wherever you are, at any moment during the day, you could run into an addict or someone struggling with some kind of substance use disorder. People just need to realize there’s nothing wrong with admitting they need help,” Komaridis said.
The drive is accepting donations by the Centennial Student Union Starbucks until Friday. For any questions or off-campus drop-offs, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Header photo: Students for Alcohol and Drug Education are hosting a hygiene and underwear drive for those on their way toward their recovery journey. (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)
Write to Emma Johnson at email@example.com