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Students hold hygiene drive to benefit homeless shelter

March 04, 2006|By DON AINES

Suave shampoo, Colgate toothpaste, Ivory soap and Johnson & Johnson dental floss were some of the personal hygiene products people handed over Friday night at the Red Bridge Roller Rink to help the homeless.

Connecting Community Resources, an organization of social work students from Shippensburg (Pa.) University, put together the hygiene drive as both a class project and an effort to put their schooling to practical use, senior Stephanie Branche said.

In exchange for a bar of soap, a bottle of shampoo or a toothbrush, skaters were offered a free pass to use at the roller rink at a future date, Branche said. The products will be given to the Franklin County Shelter for the Homeless in Chambersburg, she said.

Branche was joined by fellow students Laura Shockey, Amanda Sherman, Randi-Jo Ritchey, Melissa Kollman and Tedd Smith for what Branche said was also a project for their Practice with Organizations and Communities class. The students said the drive not only benefits the shelter and its residents, but teaches them about organizing events, building relationships and working with community groups, skills that will be useful in their careers as social workers.

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Steven Martin, another Shippensburg student, was not part of the hygiene drive, but stopped by to visit his classmates with a tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush.

Connie Pardee of Chambersburg was there to help with a children's birthday party at the rink. She was unaware the drive was going on, but thought she had something to contribute. "I support there all the time," Pardee said of the shelter. She offered to bring in a box of clothing from her vehicle she said was intended for the homeless shelter.

"We're hoping to fill up the boxes ... If not, we appreciate what people gave," Branche said.

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