According to Feeding America, a nonprofit network of more than 200 food banks nationwide “34 percent of low income families have issues with purchasing basic household goods.”

This means that there are low income families who have trouble purchasing basic hygiene essentials, such as toothpaste, laundry detergent, deodorant, body wash, etc. There are families just like yours and mine going without what we consider necessities.

This issue hits closer to home than you may think. There are even students in Hiawatha High School who may be struggling to obtain these essentials, stretching what limited supply they do have, or even going without them.

You may now be wondering in what ways you, your school, or community can help students in need like this. Hiawatha High School’s National Honor Society has decided to tackle this issue head on by starting a project called Success Stations.

Success Station cabinets are located in the sophomore hallway bathrooms and will soon contain items that students who come from a low-income family backgrounds may be struggling to provide for themselves.

This budding project saw its beginning last year during the 2016-2017 school year. The idea was proposed by last year’s senior members of the local NHS chapter. Their goal was not only to provide basic essentials for students struggling or going without, but to help them by providing them with the basic tools for success.

The idea was brought to life and made possible by fundraisers conducted within our school and community. The cabinets themselves were built in Darrin Arment’s woodshop class by graduate Joseph Kunkel during his senior year, and current senior Dawsen Hawks during his junior year. The funds for materials to build the cabinets came from generous local donors within our community and supportive local organizations.

The items that were put in the Success Stations came from an in-school fundraiser called “Hats for Hygiene,” where students were encouraged to bring in one or more hygiene items or one dollar to put toward funds to purchase hygiene items. For their efforts, participating students earned the opportunity to wear a hat in school for the day. The project saw great success thanks to the assistance of other clubs and organizations as well as students who participated in the “Hats for Hygiene” fundraiser.

The Success Stations, after fundraising, were able to be fully stocked.

“I had received contact from several students last year with encouraging comments about the Success Stations and several suggestions for items they felt would be good additions to the Stations,” said NHS sponsor Jenny Dunn.

Interested students will now be able to donate money to the cause via lock boxes attached to the success stations. Toiletries will be gladly accepted, especially feminine hygiene products, which there is an immediate need for. All donations can be turned in to Dunn at the high school. All contributions will go toward the greater good of the Success Stations project.

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