Simple Toiletry Donations Have a Big Impact on Area Children

posted in: Trident United Way | 0

Sponsored by: Trident United Way

You’ve probably read about how poor diet and health care can adversely affect a child’s ability to learn in school. But hygiene can also play a role in keeping kids happy and focused. Teachers can help during the school day, but what happens when that child goes home and there’s no toothbrush, no comb or no shampoo?

This holiday season, it’s simple to help Charleston area children get the basic toiletries they need. Bags of Joy is a Trident United Way AmeriCorps service project aimed at meeting the health and hygiene needs of children over their winter break from school.

From Nov. 21 to Dec. 2, AmeriCorps members will collect items to fill the Bags of Joy. Last year, 900 bags went to elementary and middle school students in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties.

Now in its sixth year, AmeriCorps hopes to help 1,000 children at the following schools: North Charleston Elementary, Sanders Clyde Elementary, Burns Elementary, Goodwin Elementary, Chicora Elementary, Mary Ford Elementary, James Simons Elementary, Memminger Elementary, Cross Elementary, St. Stephen Elementary and Harleyville Elementary/Middle.

AmeriCorps provides services, resources and referrals that help move families from a state of financial crisis to stability. For this project, the goal is to have enough donations to meet the need of the school-based clients and their families.

The community can get involved in three easy ways:

  1. Place a donation box at your business or organization so customers and staff members can donate.
  2. Collect donated gift cards that are used to supplement needed items.
  3. Donate travel-size items of soap/body wash, toothpaste/toothbrush, deodorant, lotion and shampoo/conditioner.

Donations of books and children’s educational activity books will also be accepted.

Businesses that would like to be a collection site should contact Project Director LaWana Roberts at or Assistant Director Mary Lucas at

Additional drop-off sites are:

This project aligns closely with the core mission of Trident United Way: assisting people with education, financial stability and health needs. By addressing these basic needs, a family can then focus on the next phase of stability.

“Bags of Joy is a wonderful project developed by our AmeriCorps members to address the personal needs of children served while they are away for the long holiday break,” says Joselyn Johnson, Trident United Way’s AmeriCorps program manager. “The Bags of Joy include necessary items allowing the recipients to maintain personal dignity, and activity books provide additional educational opportunities when they are away from the classroom.”

Trident United Way is a nonprofit organization committed to making real, long-lasting change through collective impact in the Lowcountry. It mobilizes people to work together to address the issues that matter most in people’s lives – education, financial stability and health.

To learn more about how you can help address these issues in your community, visit Trident United Way at