Recently, Members of the San Jose Location gathered to breakdown pallets with all the supplies needed to create Hygiene Kits as part of the Western Association Hygiene Kit Program. Enough supplies were sorted for the creation of 3,000 kits, which is a record at any single day pallet breakdown. With the cold weather approaching, some items in the hygiene kits like sunscreen are getting swapped out for items like gloves, head/neck wraps, and even rain ponchos.

The event was organized by Tony Mirenda, who is the Hygiene Kit Program Director for the Western Association. Before the work began, all the Members and volunteers were led in prayer by San Jose Location Leader Duke Powers, KM.

The Rotary Club of San Jose had volunteers join the Western Association Members in this effort. This is a new collaboration, and future possibilities are being explored to better serve the Rotary Club’s charitable distribution to various encampments from Fremont to South San Jose.

The big bags that were produced at the pallet breakdown event were delivered to Member, Provisional Member, and volunteer homes for actual sort and hygiene kit assembly.  Those are then picked up and stored at a few places until distribution begins to over 20 locations in the San Jose community. Further completed kits are given to the Monterey and Oakland Locations for their communities.

In terms of distribution of the kits, the San Jose Location partners with local charities to get the hygiene kits to the neediest people in our society. The partner charities include Martha’s Kitchen, John XXIII Center, Eastside Center, Tully Road Library Parking Lot, and a county-run homeless center. Outside of San Jose, the Western Association partners with the Gilroy Compassion Center, Project Hope in Mountain View, and My Father’s House in San Benito. Outside of work at local charities, our San Jose Members go out to various encampments at Columbus Park, downtown San Jose, and along the creeks/rivers in San Jose and Gilroy to bring hygiene kits and hope to those who need it most.