The office manager for Steinbach Community Outreach says not only is soap important in providing their guests dignity, it's also one of the bigger line items on their budget ever year. 

Since the beginning of January this year, Charlene Kroeker says Steinbach Community Outreach has had people from 550 separate households come though their doors. She notes it can be shocking to realize how many people are experiencing poverty in the city and surrounding area. 

Kroeker says providing these guests with soap is vital and it can be challenging to keep their toiletries closet stocked. 

“We spend thousands on soap every year, on buying supplies to fill our hygiene hampers. The things we have to buy most often are dish soap, shampoo and toilet paper. Those are the things we spend most of our money on, there are a few other items we toss in there as well, but that's the majority of it we have to buy because people don't think to donate dish soap.” 

Not only do people feel much better about themselves when they are clean, but Kroeker says proper hygiene is very important for their guests’ health.  

“If you're eating off of clean plates, you're not getting as sick as if you were eating off of dirty plates. Shampoo as well, same thing, body wash, keeping a person clean and healthy is very important.” 

Soap for Hope is coming up on Thursday, April 18th. We will be collecting soap of all kinds for Steinbach Community Outreach from 8 AM to 8 PM at Pharmasave in Steinbach.

When it comes to donations, Kroeker says the bigger containers aren’t always better. 

“We have a lot of people who are individuals or two people who are living in an apartment and so something that's packaged appropriately for them is fantastic. We love to see the great big packages of laundry, soap that will do like 150 loads, but we also need those bottles that do a smaller amount that a person can carry home with them, that an individual could use as well.” 

If you are going to donate bulk products, Kroeker recommends donating large packages of laundry pods as they are easy to divvy up between multiple households.  

Donations of dish soap, body wash, shampoo, and hand soap are also recommended.  

Considering how much Steinbach Community Outreach spends on soap every year, Kroeker says “the more that comes in donated, then the more money we can spend helping people in other ways.” 

For more information, click here