UNO National Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) and UNO Secret Kindness Agents will host “Clean Hands for All” on April 15 to donate hygiene kits to the residents of Siena Francis House. Each hygiene kit will include hand soap, hand sanitizer and lotion.
UNO Secret Kindness Agent liaison Madison Weinberger said she’s excited to see the project’s turnout.
“This is a way that I feel is similar to other projects that other people in the community are doing, where we provide them a little bit of certainty by providing them hygiene kits,” Weinberger said. “We are planning to also make some food donations that are listed on the Sierra Francis website.”
Weinberger said the hygiene kits were put together the week before April 15, and she will personally hand them to residents in a door-to-door pickup.
Weinberger said her inspiration for the “Clean Hands for All” project came from seeing a news story about a high school student contributing hygiene kits to her own community.
“She was in the community and she was the one who actually initiated it in her own home. So, I saw the story on TV and thought it was a very strong and brave move from a young person,” Weinberger said. “Maybe we can do something similar. We’re going to have agents and other students’ organizations collaborate.”
Weinberger said Secret Kindness Agents and other student organizations, including NSSHLA will work together to help make the drive possible. She said each agent and other volunteers will make one hygiene kit with the goal of having 50-75 kits made at the maximum.
UNO Secret Kindness Agent member and NHSSLHA president Hanna Johnson said when she was told about the opportunity to volunteer with “Clean Hands for All” she immediately said yes. She said she mentioned the event during a virtual meeting, noting the importance of giving to their community.
“I have been able to create a little hygiene kit to donate and plan on creating more,” Johnson said. “As a student living on a college budget, I understand how important money is and to have essential hygiene needs.”
Johnson said she’s privileged to have good health and to follow CDC recommendations when it is essential for her to go out, which includes picking up a list of hygiene supplies she will donate to the “Health for the Homeless’ project.
Weinberger said one of the challenges she encountered during the project is the recent store shortage of hygiene supplies.
“I think every week they have to restock because a lot of people are getting a little out of hand with panic buying, which I understand the concern because people want a sense of security and are trying to get ahead to prevent COVID-19 from entering their household,” Weinberger said. “It’s a very scary illness so that’s why I think a lot of people go splurge on these products.”
Weinberger said it’s also a challenge to limit exposure whenever she leaves the house to find more supplies for the hygiene kits.
“That’s a challenge because I want to kick this off, but for my personal health I have to remember this isn’t just about me. So, if I’m going out, there are chances I could catch it or have asymptomatic symptoms and could be putting other people in danger,” Weinberger said.
Weinberger said she’s taking caution by checking to see if products are in stock in certain locations while keeping her personal safety along with others in mind. She said that if students and other members of the community are interested in participating, donations of $10 or less or donating supplies to the project will help.
“If the community wants to get involved, that would be tremendous,” Weinberger said. “Even if they can’t get the whole kit, if you want to provide the products, that would be awesome.”
Johnson encourages students and community members to help whenever they get the chance. She said it’s the simple things that truly make the biggest impact and change.
“When we have the mindset, ‘I can only give a few things, these probably won’t even help,’ that is where we are wrong. When we think of it as ‘these few extra items I have are going to provide a meal for a family or hygiene products for a week,’ that is where change happens,” Johnson said. “As a Secret Kindness Agent, we put out community and work as a team to help support each other in making an impact.”
If you would like to participate, you can contact Madison Weinberger at firstname.lastname@example.org or (402) 992-4897.