Shoeboxes from little hands help homeless - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Shoeboxes from little hands help homeless

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Posted: Sunday, April 2, 2006 6:31 am | Updated: 2:25 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Little hands packed shoeboxes full of shampoo, conditioner, soap and other toiletries Friday night at Ray of Light Christian Preschool in Chandler.

The preschool children and their parents have been collecting toiletries since November, and their project has nearly come full circle.

After all of the shoeboxes are packed with various items, they’ll be sent to Scottsdale-based Shoebox Ministries, where they’ll be distributed to homeless shelters throughout the Valley.

This is the third year the school has done the project. Jodi Pencek, mother of three and project coordinator, says the children are doing a lot of good.

“The thing is, little kids can’t do much,” she said. “They can’t go and feed the homeless, so this is something they can do that’s hands-on.”

The goal of the project — aside from helping the homeless — is to teach children compassion, she said.

We tell the kids, she said, “There are people who can’t even brush their teeth because they don’t have enough money to buy toothpaste. We talk to them about it and make them think.”

About 50 kits — which also include razors, feminine hygiene products, wash cloths and deodorant — will go to families in need this Easter, Pencek said.

Companies such as Wal-Mart donated $75 worth of gift cards and $35 worth of products, said Jennifer Barkley, a mother of two.

Jennifer Urena, another mother, said her 4-year-old son, Andrew, has been very curious throughout the process.

“I helped with the fliers and posters . . . and brought everything home and showed him what I was putting together,” Urena said.

“I was able to explain to him what the project was and the things that were needed,” she said. “He’s been able to see exactly what we’re making and the process.”

Where to donate

Scottsdale: Shoebox Ministry, 7902 E. Wood Drive, guesthouse behind main house.

Mesa: Apartment Finders, 1235 S. Gilbert Road, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

Information: www.shoebox ministry.org or (480) 905-1610.

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