CONGREGATION CREATES HYGIENE KITS FOR HAITI
What started as a plan to put together 25 hygiene kits to help victims of the Haiti earthquake grew four times as large Saturday in West Lafayette.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in West Lafayette quickly assembled 100 hygiene kits Saturday. Each kit contains two hand towels, two bars of soap, a tube of toothpaste, four toothbrushes and a comb. The items were donated by church members and neighbors.
The national church "has already sent thousands of these kits to Haiti," said church member Brielle Kennington, who organized the local effort. The kits will be sent to the church's regional facility in Indianapolis. Church officials will either send them to Haiti or store them to use in a future emergency, she said.
Church member Andrea Davis helped organize the event.
"I actually served as a missionary in the Dominican Republic about 10 years ago," Davis said. "While the atmosphere in the Dominican Republic was very poor, I was always told it was 10 times worse in Haiti," Davis said.
After seeing the aftermath of the quake, she said, "I just wanted to help out."
Numerous charitable organizations have stressed that people wishing to help the Haiti relief effort should donate money rather than goods.
"Sometimes it's easier for people to give items than it is to give money," Kennington said.
Major Nelson De La Vergne is with the Salvation Army Lafayette. He agreed that monetary donations are better right now because of shipping difficulties in Haiti. If people want to help by donating items, De La Vergne suggested people give to local food pantries and other charities that help local residents.
"As all this money is going to Haiti, local charities aren't getting it," De La Vergne said."They're going to be hurting later on."