Cancelled Event Swag Bags Transformed into Hygiene Kits for Baltimore’s Homeless

Across the country, live events have been impacted by COVID-19. While some events have successfully pivoted to virtual, others have simply had to cancel. This is what happened to the IADR/AADR/CADR dental research conference that was scheduled to take place in March in Washington, DC. The cancellation meant that hundreds of pre-packaged tote bags filled with tubes of toothpaste and other dental items could no longer be used as originally intended. With the bags outdated, IADR and AADR donated the materials to Good360, the global leader in product philanthropy, which provided the items to our VOA Resource Center.

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Located in Linthicum, MD, our VOA Resource is designed to redistribute high-quality household products from major retailers to help nonprofits make an even greater impact in their communities. To help with COVID-19 relief efforts, our staff transformed the donated goody bags into hygiene kits complete with toothpaste, undergarments, socks and other wellness products for the homeless. On Saturday, April 4th, more than 250 individuals and families in need happily received those kits at two food drives hosted in Baltimore by St. Phillip Neri Catholic Church and Empowering Word Ministries International.

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Here’s what our Resource Center Volunteer & Services Coordinator, Michelle Banks, had to say about the hygiene kits.

“The Resource Center Team was eager to give back in whatever way we could, and the dental donation provided the perfect opportunity. We are not just a resource, but a support system. Especially in times like these, this is when we are supposed to step up and do what we can.”

– Michelle Banks, Volunteer & Services Coordinator, VOA Resource Center

St. Phillip Neri Catholic Church and Empowering World Ministries International were extremely grateful to receive the donation.

“We are for partnering with organizations that love to help people and believe that if you have helped one person, you have made a difference.”

– Vicky Noland, Minister, Director of Community Outreach, Empowering Word Ministries International.

“We felt it was a privilege to not only hand out lunches but the bags that were supplied by Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas to our neighboring homeless.”

– Homeless Ministry Team, St. Phillip Neri Catholic Church

Many organizations have had to quickly pivot in response to this pandemic, and so have we. Until the COVID-19 crisis passes, our staff will continue to leverage donations and resources to support those disproportionately affected. Thank you to the Boards of Directors of the International Association for Dental Research and the American Association for Dental Research for helping us put your products to great use for the homeless individuals in Baltimore!

To learn more about the VOA Resource Center and how you can get involved, contact Michelle Banks at mbanks@voaches.org. To learn more about ways you can help us continue to be a resource to those most in need in your community, visit http://www.voachesapeake.org/ways-to-help.

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