Churches Active in Northside (CAIN) honors the spirit of Dr. King by hosting our second annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Personal Care & Hygiene Drive. This initiative provides Northside residents a way to extend a hand to neighbors in need to continue to strengthen the community.
CAIN hosts an MLK Day of Service event as part of our participation in the AmeriCorps Vista program. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’” Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on the King Holiday to serve their neighbors and communities.
Each week, CAIN volunteers and donor answer that question by providing basic food and necessities to neighbors in need.
Each month, nearly 500 Northside households receive food, necessities and critical support during times of uncertainty and challenge. CAIN staff and volunteers greet and meet each guest individually: listening, offering encouragement, and assessing the level of assistance needed. All are served with mindfulness and compassion.
The need for personal care and hygiene items is second only to food by those who visit CAIN’s Rainbow Choice Food Pantry.
Week after week, the hygiene shelves in the CAIN Choice Pantry are emptied quickly and guests routinely request more of these basic and critical hygiene items than we can provide. Some people come to our pantry just to get these items. A mother of teens sums it up: “If I wasn’t able to get hygiene products for my kids I’m afraid their self-esteem would suffer. CAIN provides, soap, shampoo and cleaning supplies we would otherwise go without.”
Basic essential personal hygiene products including soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products, diapers and toilet paper cannot be purchased with food stamps. They tend to be expensive to purchase and are also taxable, which adds to their cost.
CAIN depends on individual financial contributions and donations of hygiene items to meet the needs in our community. Last year over 3500 items were donated. This year we are aiming for 5000 which will stock the pantry for almost 3 months!
YOU can help and honor the legacy of Dr. King by:
-purchasing and donating extra personal care items
-making a financial contribution designated to MLK Hygiene Drive
– coordinating a drive and hosting a barrel at your school, church, workplace
– volunteering before or during the MLK Day event.
On Saturday, January 11 from 9:30 to 11:30, volunteers are needed to distribute bags on identified streets, hang flyers and place collection barrels at designated locations.
On Monday, January 20th from 9:30 to 2:30, volunteers are needed to collect and sort items.
Donations can also be dropped directly to CAIN on MLK day, January 20th, 10:30 to 12:30 PM
Please call Dave at 513.470.0935 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up, or for more information about the drive.
BY David Payton
Dave coordinates CAIN’s “Healthy Food for All” Initiative to increase access to healthy, high-quality, and safe food for food-insecure families in Northside. CAIN continues to pursue ways to make sure that guests receive the most nutritious food that we can offer, as well as educate and empower guests to learn to grow and preserve their own food. Besides the “Rainbow of Choice” system, CAIN has a co-operative garden on-site that is harvested for pantry times. CAIN offers take-home container gardens in the spring. CAIN is an active partner and participant in the Northside Farmers Market (NFM) Advisory Board and helped establish accepting EBT (Food Stamp) payments at the NFM.