Local Kinsmen Club members Ted Moir (left) and Arthur Wiebe, along with Samaritan House Ministries executive director Marla Somersall, show off men’s hygiene kits — one of the Kinsmen Club’s new projects.
Local Kinsmen Club members are working to donate basic kits of men’s hygiene items for low-income individuals accessing Samaritan House Ministries.
The initiative is known as the What We Take for Granted project, and initial response to the kits has been positive. The value of a dry pair of socks can be beyond words.
Members of the Kinsmen Club of Brandon are always looking for service projects to help the community.
After meeting with Samaritan House Ministries executive director Marla Somersall to discuss the needs of low-income families and people in need, members knew where to direct some of their efforts.
"Most of us take the razor, socks and bottle of shampoo in our homes for granted. What happens to those who have to choose between being clean and being fed?" club members wondered.
"Many people struggling to make ends meet cannot afford these basic hygiene items. It is hard to imagine someone who is hungry and at risk of homelessness making a good impression in a job interview when he cannot afford to brush his teeth or shampoo his hair. More likely he will not feel presentable enough to be considered for employment."
Somersall described the initiative of the Kinsmen Club of Brandon as a source of hope.
"Being clean, that basic sense of wellness has a profound impact on people who are struggling at every turn. This is an exciting initiative that these men are putting together," she said.
"Basic hygiene items are hard for food banks to come by and always take second place to the need for food. Given the demand for our services in the past few years, we are rarely able to keep up to the demand."
The kit includes: two pairs of underwear, two pairs of socks, two disposable razors, and one each of deodorant, comb, face cloth, toothbrush, toothpaste, travel-size shampoo and conditioner and shaving cream, soap and some floss.
Arthur Wiebe and Ted Moir of the Kinsmen Club of Brandon helped spearhead the project.
"We realized that we do take for granted that you will always have clean socks and underwear and be able to shower, brush your teeth. You always hear that clothes are what is needed, but on reflection we found out that this was not the only thing needed," they said.
"So we started the What We Take for Granted project. We put some kits together for Marla and her staff to distribute to men in need of these kits. Now that we know that the kits were very well received, we will try to partner with some of the bigger companies in Brandon to see if they may be able to sponsor some kits.
"Marla was able to give us a pretty good idea that we will need to have approximately 200 kits a year."
Samaritan House offers its sincere thanks to the Kinsmen members for taking the time to learn about the needs in our community and for this initiative that will go a long way to supporting people it serves.
For more information on the initiative, call Marla at 204-726 0758 or Arthur at 204-720-1175.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 7, 2013