Scandia Elementary kids collect personal care items for homeless

Program for Twin Cities area people is now in its 10th year

Mary Bailey
Scandia Reporter

When you’re homeless, getting your hands on shampoo, toothpaste, and aspirin can be difficult.

For the 10th year, a class at Scandia Elementary School has organized a service project to gather personal care items for people in need.

Students of sixth-grade teacher Emily Stegmeir (formerly known as Ms. Zeimer) volunteer for committees:  posters, communications, collections, or sorting.

They accept medications, such as pain relievers, cough syrup, and antacids; grooming items, including soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, and feminine products; and diapers and infant formula.

Winter gloves and hats are also needed.

Between Feb. 1 and Feb. 26 the students set a goal of gathering 500 pounds of donations.

Items are still welcome and may be dropped off at Scandia Elementary School.

3 Destinations

The elementary school program works with three destination points in the Twin Cities.

One destination for the items is Safe Zone, a St. Paul center for teens who are homeless and in need of personal care items.

Another destination is Listening House, the “living room of the homeless,” a St. Paul sanctuary from the streets where people can drop in.

The third recipient is Healthcare for the Homeless, whose volunteer doctors and nurses provide medical care for homeless people in eight shelters and drop-in centers in St. Paul.

St. Joseph’s Hospital acts as the clearing house for the agencies, Stegmeir said.

Monetary gifts are also welcomed.

According to the communications committee, one seventh grader who was inspired by the project last year donated $100 from his Christmas money for this year’s drive.