Abreo, Louie lead Helping Hands

MADISON – During summer break, Michelle Abreo and Tinnie Louie wanted to help their community. The teenagers have partnered with Manna House and organized the “Helping Hands Hygiene Drive.”

Abreo and Louie, who will be seniors at James Clemens High School, have volunteered at local shelters. “We wanted to take a leadership role. With all the time available in the summer, we chose to put it to good use and do something that will help others,” Abreo said.

They contacted director Fran Fluhler at Manna House, who was thrilled with their idea.

“Food drives are paramount to local shelters” but not so with toiletries, Louie said. “Having good hygiene is necessary for people to get jobs, the goal for most homeless people.” The supplies will give more confidence and a well-groomed appearance.

For the drive, individuals can donate shampoo, conditioner, body wash/soap bars, toilet paper, disposable razors, shaving cream, feminine products and 1 to 2 ounce bottles of hand sanitizer. Abreo and Louie’s goal is to create 100 ‘care packages,’ costing about $10 each, to distribute at Manna House.

Abreo and Louie are hoping for donations from businesses.

Donation bins are in place at Madison Public Library; Kroger, 300 Hughes Road; and Walgreen’s, 12010 County Line Road. At the bins, discount coupons are available for hygiene purchases.

Helping Hands Hygiene Drive ends July 25.

Abreo and Louie were familiar with Manna House because of charity events by James Clemens organizations. “In Environmental Club, we organized a peanut-butter-and-jelly drive, put together 50 sandwiches and handed them out at Manna House,” Louie said.

Abreo and Louie are president and vice president, respectively, of Environmental Club and editors of JETStream school newspaper. Abreo participates in National Honor Society. Louie is a member of Student Ambassadors and Health Occupations Students of America.

The drive will receive a percentage at Stevi B’s Pizza on July 16 from 2 to 9 p.m. Also, Stevi B’s cards are for sale at $5.

To sponsor a care package, email to helpinghandshygienedrive@gmail.com. For more information, visit Facebook/helpinghandshygienedrive.

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