St. Louis, MO – March 29, 2017 – Girl Scouts, families and community members will come together to help those in need through April Showers.
April Showers is Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri’s largest service event. Girl Scouts go door-to-door, distributing recyclable plastic bags, and return a week later to collect the bags, filled by residents with personal care items like toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, first aid supplies and diapers. Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri began the program in 1998, and since then, has collected more than 18 million items as part of the initiative. The organization works in collaboration with Operation Food Search and other nonprofits to distribute the items, which account for a large percentage of personal care items donated in the region.
This year, bag drop off will take place March 31 and April 1-2. Bag pickup will be the following Saturday, April 8. Girl Scouts will also be outside of area Walmart stores on April 1, collecting items from customers.
“Operation Food Search is grateful to the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri for taking on the challenge to provide personal care items to our neighbors in need,” said Sunny Schaefer, executive director of Operation Food Search. “These items are always in high demand and short supply. They’re expensive and SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] benefits cannot be used to purchase personal care items. These items are critical to promote good health, a sense of well-being and self-esteem.”
Schnucks, Dierbergs and the Girl Scout Service Center will also serve as collection sites. The partnerships between Girl Scouts and these businesses illustrate the importance of April Showers and Girl Scouts in the area, highlighting a community need that many are unaware of. Items can be dropped off at Missouri Schnucks locations April 5-14; Dierbergs locations April 8-24 or the Girl Scout Service Center Monday-Friday 8:30 am-5 pm, March 27-May 1.
Over 900,000 people in Missouri live below the federal poverty line. These families often must choose between buying food and paying for basic needs like housing, heating or healthcare, leaving little room for personal care items, which play a vital role in the health and well-being of residents. Good personal hygiene reduces preventable illness and increases self-esteem.
“Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri is very thankful for the support the community shows during our annual April Showers program, which has provided millions of personal care items to those in need of a helping hand,” said Bonnie Barczykowski, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri CEO. “We hear stories from organizations who receive the items about the impact these necessities have made on the lives of those they serve.”