- Video shows popular items in need for the Door County Cares drive
- Destination Door County and the United Way of Door County have partnered with businesses and organizations throughout the county to collect personal care and cleaning products.
(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)
The spirit of giving is alive and well as the month of December continues to soar by. I’m your Door County neighborhood reporter Katlyn Holt and you may see bins like this in your Door County neighborhood filled with hygiene and cleaning products and it's all in an effort to support those struggling financially in the community.
As we dive deeper into the holiday season many are worried about buying the perfect presents for their loved ones. One thing that may go unnoticed year around is the amount of items like hygiene and cleaning products that some people can't afford to buy.
"I don't know that everyone realizes how big the need is, anytime of the year here," said Paulsen.
Rebecca Paulsen, the community connector for the United Way of Door County says many of the families she works with are struggling to make ends meet and basic need items are requested often.
"I primarily work with families really struggling to afford those items. They may be getting benefits through food share or utilizing a food pantry but there's no dollar’s leftover in their budget for toilet paper, paper towels and cleaning supplies," said Paulsen.
Paulsen says seasonal employment makes expenses difficult for many Door County residents as budgets tighten as hours dwindle in the winter months.
According to the 2023 A.L.IC.E. (asset limited, income constrained, employed) reports, 9% of Door County residents are in poverty and 24% are A.L.I.C.E households, 1% higher than the state average.
This year the United Way of Door County partnered with Destination Door County to try and bridge the gap for families this holiday season.
“We are collecting personal care items and household cleaning supplies," said Rusnak.
Morgan Rusnak the community engagement manager from Destination Door County has been working closely on this drive. More than fifteen drop off zones have been designated throughout the county, making it accessible for community members to donate.
"The holiday season, you know, things get tough and those are things that are typically not covered under FoodShare benefits, or any kind of snap benefits and we really want to make sure our community has those taken care of for the holiday season," said Rusnak,
This made me ask what some of the most requested items by those in need are.
"It is all over the map if it's something that you can get in the in the personal hygiene aisle, we need toilet paper, we need tampons, we need things for babies for all ages for incontinence products, we need all sorts of things," said Rusnak.
With more than 700 items collected in the first round of pick-ups, Rusnak is excited to see how much the drive collects until January 7th, when the drive concludes.
"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts and it seems like this and the community working together to support each other that really makes me feel awesome," said Rusnak.
The designated drop off spots for the drive can be found here.