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I am a registered nurse and also volunteer for the Red Cross and will be leaving shortly for the disaster in New Orleans. I just wanted to suggest a wonderful way to help your local shelter. I travel in my job and stay at motels. I always take the little shampoo, lotion and soap that is given out and I also ask my friends and relatives to do so as well. When I have enough I put them in a basket and deliver them to the local shelter so that they can give them out to people who really need them.
Editor's Note: Thank you for volunteering and helping out. Please let us know if there are more things we can do to help after you return.
This collecting has been done at Sears, Roebuck & Co. Corporate headquarters for many years or at least up until I retired in 1996. Hope they have continued it.
I still do it and contribute collection to Sarah's Circle, a drop-in center for all women in Chicago's Uptown area.
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We are way overloaded with hotel/motel soaps. We just can't control ourselves about taking them home. Does anyone know who might like them or what we could do with them?
Donate in your area: homeless shelters, battered women shelters, child care centers, etc.
Check with local churches. Especially Baptist churches. A lot of them do shoe boxes for operation Christmas child. Our church gathers items all year round. Soap, toothbrushes wash cloths. Supplies etc. mall toys, school supplies... Then in November shoe boxes are packed and they go to other countries for children that might not have Christmas.
I do agree that if you have a hoard of hotel toiletries, donating them to a shelter, church or rescue mission is the charitable thing to do.
I wonder though how many people actually do donate the items to the needy. And I wonder how it is that the average person can amass so much of it in the first place. Was it simple greed that prompted taking the items, because it was there for the taking?
I knew someone once who even took home the extra roll of toilet tissue. Now that's cheap !!
Wouldn't dream of taking toilet paper or anything else, it just seems the soap gets put back into our travel bag thinking we might need it at our next stop...and there are times that has been necessary or the bar is so small it is difficult for my husband to use. Thank you for the previous suggestions, I am following up on them. Our church does the Shoebox ministry each year but no mention of needing or wanting soap in the past, I 'm checking on that and our local Rescue Mission..
Guest soap is there for the guest to use. Its cost is included in the bill. The hotel puts no restrictions on when, where, or how the soap is used. When the maid cleans the room, she finds soap missing and replaces it, accordingly. She has no way of knowing whether the soap was used during the guest's stay, or not.
Common sense dictates that if you are heavily laden with hotel soap, you should stop taking it. If you have an uncontrollable compulsion to take the soap, help is available. As for the possibility of needing soap at the next stop, why not pack your own favorite soap with your luggage.
I donate all samples to the church's food pantry. They are very happy to take even the samples that come in magazines.
There is an organization called Haiti Awake in wilmington nc. They could use the toiletries to bring to Haiti for the children in the orphanage.