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Old Dec 26, 10, 11:08 pm   #1
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FlyerTalk amenity kits for the homeless

Hello all!

Just because Christmas has passed for another year doesn't mean there aren't plenty of people still in need out there. For many of those in homeless shelters, basics such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and toothbrushes are welcome supplies. So many FT'ers probably accumulate then horde or discard huge quantities of international amenity kits, soaps, and shampoos I thought it would be great to start setting those aside for a good cause. I gathered four amenity kits just in the last couple days and I've got lots of soaps and shampoos and other things to stuff in there as well.

If every FT'er set that stuff aside and brought them to a collection bin at the FT DO's or just mailed them to me, I have people I can lean on to help me sort and assemble amenity kits which can go to needy shelters.

What can you do?

- Start saving amenity kits. Having those little bags to store all of the goodies is a nice touch.
- Save unused soaps, shampoos, conditioners, toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, and other useful stuff
- If you're organizing a DO, set up a collection bin and invite attendees to bring their stash. See if an attendee is willing to spearhead shipping it to me.
- Raise awareness around FT. Edit your signature line to refer to this thread.

If you think this is a good idea - please respond to this thread. I'll set up a PO box and start working with charities for distribution. Let's make this a continuous effort from the FT community. I know all of the compassionate folks here at FlyerTalk can make a huge difference!!!

Last edited by elCheapoDeluxe; Dec 26, 10 at 11:24 pm
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Old Dec 26, 10, 11:21 pm   #2
  
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I think this is a great idea and I would like to help. I have many toiletry kits and spare soaps, shampoos, etc.

I guess one issue we may face is the shipping costs vs kit donated items cost. So maybe we could work it out to identify local places that we could help instead of each one of us shipping one or two items.
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Old Dec 26, 10, 11:21 pm   #3
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I agree that shipping one or two items isn't going to be cost effective. I'd say for those that can amass a good quantity - and can ship - that's great. I'd like to see a collection bin at EVERY DO stateside. That's where we can rack up the bulk shipments.

If we work out a master-list of receiving shelters and have people work together at a local level to keep those contributions moving, that would be awesome too! FT has over 300,000 registered members to pull from - so let's put that to good use!
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Old Dec 26, 10, 11:22 pm   #4
  
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We've been doing this for years. I bring back lots of amenity kits and have given them to my daughter, who picks out the luxury facial moisturizer of some such but sorts the stuff that would be useful to homeless shelters and brings the stash over. Portable toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoos from hotels, etc. is well received. With the TSA (Security Theater) rules banning more than one baggy worth of bottles, I'm probably am bringing back a fair bit less now than prior to the rules but what we bring is still valued.
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Old Dec 26, 10, 11:38 pm   #5
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I wholeheartedly support anyone who has already been doing this at any level. Let's make this a FT-wide push and really make this big! The recycling benefits are gravy to top it off.
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Old Dec 26, 10, 11:44 pm   #6
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Thank you for posting this and hopefully it will remind other FT to do this.

I have been doing this as well, collected the soap, shampoo from all the MR in hotel and donate them to women shelter in my area.

I do also hope lots of FT do the same.

Happy Holidays
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Old Dec 27, 10, 1:12 am   #7
  
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I'm another who has been donating amenity kits for some years, with mine going to the women's shelter here in Christchurch. One time I delivered 40 of them and they sure were appreciated.

There must be thousands of these kits floating around and it really doesn't take much effort to get them to the needy. Many places will even pick up.
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Old Dec 27, 10, 7:47 am   #8
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With every hotel stay, I usually get three or four bottles of soap and shampoo. I'll put them in a box, and donate to one of the shelters in Denver.

Great job, OP!
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Old Dec 27, 10, 8:10 am   #9
  
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For the price of shipping these things you could probably buy full size bottles of shampoo etc. Seems much more efficient to donate it in your local area, I think.
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Old Dec 27, 10, 12:05 pm   #10
  
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There is usually a collection box at SEADO

One yr we did this in London and I think it was Masha ended up with 4 huge boxes full
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Old Dec 27, 10, 3:02 pm   #11
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jan_az View Post
There is usually a collection box at SEADO

One yr we did this in London and I think it was Masha ended up with 4 huge boxes full

That suitcase full that you had was pretty heavy.

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Old Dec 27, 10, 4:11 pm   #12
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I do this ever year and thank you to my UK f/t'er friend who dutifully reminded me at the beginning of December that she was bringing me "a whole bunch" when me met on her SFO layover so I could deliver them to the shelter.

Plus, if you're like me and a pack-rat when it comes to hotel soaps, shampoos, toothpaste n' brushes and etc, the same thing applies. I just pop them in a big bag and drop them off as well
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Old Dec 27, 10, 4:44 pm   #13
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We find the women's shelters are really appreciative. And it's time for another run...
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Old Dec 27, 10, 5:20 pm   #14
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Have been doing it for years as well. For those of you in the SEA area who are looking for an organization that not only appreciates these but where you can see the "direct impact" please consider Jubilee House. Here is a link to what they do:

http://jwcenter.org/
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Old Dec 27, 10, 5:42 pm   #15
  
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Great idea! Thanks for organizing, elCheapoDeluxe.
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