Warren Center, Pennsylvania – With the cost of basic necessities rising, the Community Hygiene Pantry is working to help families in Bradford County meet their needs.
To help meet the needs of the community, businesses and community organizations organize a collection of personal care and hygiene products.
Throughout October, product donations will be accepted across Bradford County. The products collected will be used to stock community hygiene pantries in Athens, Wyalusing, Towanda and Troy.
Drop boxes for personal care and hygiene items can be found at Jones’ Store in Warren Center, The Hair Mill and Pipher’s Diner in Wysox, Helping Hands Food Pantry in Wyalusing, the YMCA in Towanda, Endless Mountains Brace and Mobility and Western Alliance Emergency Services in Troy, Rise and Shine Community Center and Mad Hatter Café and Tea Garden in Athens.
Liz Terwilliger organizes the drive. In 2021, Liz and her husband Chris, along with Terry Johnston, created the first permanent community hygiene pantry behind the Mad Hatters Café and Tea Garden in Athens.
“We make decisions every day about how to spend our limited funds,” Terwillliger said. “Community Hygiene Pantries allow neighbors to help neighbors take the pressure off those decisions, even if only a little.”
Early in the summer, the Terwilligers, with help from Lori Vanderpool and Peg Huyck, set up a second community hygiene pantry behind Helping Hands Food Pantry in Wyalusing. Plans are underway to establish a community hygiene pantry in Towanda, hosted by the YMCA, and in Troy at a location yet to be determined.
Pantries are outdoors and accessible to community members at all times. Made from repurposed furniture like dressers, they hold personal care items like shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, combs, feminine hygiene products and more. Volunteers maintain the pantries, cleaning and repairing them as needed. Community members come to fill the pantry with donations.
Anyone in need can stop by and grab what they need from the pantry or add a donation.
“Now a critical time for this community campaign. With winter on the way, we need to raise awareness of these pantries so those in need can use them,” Terwilliger said. “Athens and Wyalusing are well stocked, and we need to keep them that way. Additionally, we are starting new pantries, one hosted by the YMCA in Towanda and one in Troy, which will need to be fully stocked.”
“I am grateful to all of the companies and organizations that have joined us in this effort,” said Terwilliger. “Without them, we wouldn’t be able to reach the entire county.”
Those interested in getting involved or learning more about fundraising (or creating your own pantry) can contact Terwilliger at firstname.lastname@example.org or (507) 731-0822, or visit the group on Facebook.