Back to Basics program needs your help
[h6]By Karla Zygowicz Halverson[/h6]
[h6]Workplace Volunteer Council Past President[/h6]
Squirrels are busy storing away acorns, farmers are getting the last of the crops off the fields and humans have sadly packed away shorts and flip flops exchanging them for sweatshirts, sweaters and heavier outerwear. Preparation for winter in Northcentral Wisconsin is well underway. I don’t know about you, but I even utilize the changing of the seasons as a great time to inventory my “supplies on hand” to make sure I have what we need available at all times in each bathroom and for each person. I readily admit that I am not a big fan of dragging more home than is necessary when shopping in the winter months.
Think about this. If I asked you to go to your linen closet (pantry, shelf in a closet, basket under the sink….whatever it may be) and pull out supplies for someone who had nothing – you could probably do it, right? I have to believe that I am not the only one who could come up with toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, body soap, deodorant. If you are like me, you could probably pick a half dozen of each item off the shelves. I like variety in all things and “choices.” I like knowing I can open the cupboard and pull a tooth-whitening toothpaste, a new toothbrush or a different shower gel – it’s going to be there! I am blessed to have choices when it comes to soap in my bathroom, soap in the kitchen and even the scent of my shampoo or which shower gel I feel like using today. I am not an extreme coupon clipper like you see on TV but I do maintain a nice stockpile of the basic items used in our household. I take advantage of sales, a third payday in a month and things like that.
Not everyone has choices in such matters. Whether you choose to believe it or not, people right here in the Wausau metro area must make a choice between purchasing an essential such as a toothbrush over gas for the car or groceries for the table. For whatever reason, their budget is stretched beyond capacity. We like to think that cannot be so where we live but sadly it is true. Families, single parents, individuals, elderly – there are struggles to be found across all dynamics.
Back to Basics (B2B) has been an ongoing project of the Workplace Volunteer Council of Marathon County (WVC) for six years now. This project helps those in need of a little extra help providing personal grooming essentials that many of us take for granted. We are contacted by social workers, case managers, and organizations that provide assistance to those in need. We answer the call to supply them with full-size bottles of shampoo, tubes of toothpaste, a toothbrush for each member of the family, etc. Even if you were to shop at the Dollar Store, the cost of the basic items we take for granted does add up. When you multiply it by the size of your household, it can really take a toll.
The WVC is thankful for ongoing membership support of this project. However, it is time to ask for some community assistance. We are in need to monetary gifts and personal grooming items to replenish our storage and bank account. The requests are not stopping just because our funds are getting low. In 2016, we have responded to 99 requests – and they are still coming! We need to ask for your assistance.
If you are a coupon clipper and know how to maximize your coupons and getting free items or for little cost – we could use your assistance. If you are a shopper that likes to look at all the lotions, potions, soaps and such items available – we could use your help. If purchasing items for a cause is not your thing but you are able to provide monetary support – your donation is very welcome and we will do the shopping for items as they are needed. A collection in the classroom, Sunday school class, bridge club, book club, and organization – all are great ways you can make a big impact with just a little effort. The beauty of these products is that they do not really expire, spoil or go to waste before they are needed by someone. Let’s start this holiday season out right by helping our fellow neighbors ease the burden on their wallet in a small way that makes a huge impact in the household. If you need any further “incentive” – I have never forgotten a social worker telling me that when she shared the personal needs supply bag with her client that the woman of the house was overwhelmed. They had never each had their own toothbrush! I tell you that not to gross you out but to make a point that the littlest things can mean so much to someone who does not have them. We appreciate any and all support. See the list below with items requested and where to bring donations of money or items. God Bless you and yours and have a happy and safe winter season!
Monetary donations should be made out to WVC – Back 2 Basics and mailed to: Back to Basics – Workplace volunteer Council, PO Box 1384, Wausau, Wi 54402.
[h6]List of Supplies Needed[/h6]
- Shampoo/Conditioner for children/adults
- Baby wipes
- Lotion – hand and body
- Band-Aids/ Q-tips
- Lip balm
- Dental floss/mouthwash
- Shaving cream
- Disposable razors
- Feminine hygiene products
*All items must be unopened and unused. Travel size, samples, and full size containers will all be accepted.