British Columbia

B.C. non-profit 'busier than ever' delivering critical hygiene products to communities in need

Soap for Hope donated more products in a month than they normally do in a year, as the demand for hygiene products has spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Soap for Hope donated more products in a month than they normally do in a year

Victoria-based Soap for Hope collects slightly used amenities and delivers them regularly to shelters, transition houses, food banks, elementary schools, low-income senior facilities and remote Indigenous communities. Demand is high due to the current COVID-19 health crisis. (Facebook/Soap For Hope)

Last year, a B.C. non-profit donated a million hygiene products to people in need.

This year, they hit a million in one month.

Personal hygiene products are essential at any time, and they are even more important right now to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But vulnerable people and those living in remote communities may have trouble obtaining these products.

That is where Soap for Hope comes in.

The Victoria-based group collects soap, shampoo, feminine hygiene products and other personal items and delivers them regularly to shelters, transition houses, food banks, elementary schools, low-income seniors facilities and remote Indigenous communities, primarily on Vancouver Island. 

The charity works with hotels to gather slightly used amenities for donation.

"We are busier than ever," said executive director Anne McIntyre, during an interview with host Kathryn Marlow on All Points West.

 

She says the group is getting about eight to 10 orders a day and is grateful to a large team of volunteers who distribute the products in Victoria, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Campbell River and the Gulf Islands.

Soap for Hope has also partnered with B.C. RCMP Indigenous Policing Services and the First Nations Policing Program that identifies remote Indigenous communities with need and then transports the goods in by plane, boat or vehicle.

"Somewhere like Alert Bay for example," said McIntyre, referring to the community on Cormorant Island where one woman died of COVID-19.

Soap for Hope has partnered with the B.C. RCMP Indigenous Policing Services and First Nations Policing Program staff who identify remote Indigenous communities with needs and deliver hygiene products to them. (Facebook/Soap For Hope)

McIntyre said an increased demand is also due to the shortage of some products provincewide because shoppers have stocked up.

"It's a problem for a lot of people who just don't have them," said McIntyre.

The products are quarantined for safety before they are delivered. According to the charity's website, over 8,600 hygiene kits are needed in Victoria every month.

Soap for Hope is a program of Disaster Aid Canada.

To hear the complete interview with Anne McIntyre and Kathryn Marlow on All Points West, tap the link below:

With files from All Points West

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now