POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - About 300 kids in the Pocatello/Chubbuck school district are homeless.
That's according to the Pocatello Rotary Club, who has made those kids its mission by collecting donations. Friday, the rotary club and other community helpers dropped off the donations to the school district.
"Bounce, dryer sheets, we had over 750; we did the laundry pods, we had over 700," said Dena Weaver, Pocatello Rotary Club committee chair. "We have 200 bath soaps; we have over 100 shampoos and conditioners; we have over 7,000 Q-tips."
That's only the beginning of what fills dozens of boxes that now sit in a local Pocatello elementary school.
Brushes, deodorant, toilet paper, and several other everyday items that some kids in the school district lack.
When the Pocatello Rotary Club found out that number of kids who needed help was in the triple digits, the "Rotary Helps" program stepped in and asked for the community's help in bringing in donations throughout September and October.
"We had no goal," Weaver said. "We just really hoped we could get as much as possible. Anything will help so this is actually I think more than we expected. It's been a great turnout."
Several businesses and individuals donated items and money, including local periodontist Dr. Michael Cady.
"We actually heard the challenge over the radio initially and when we heard it, we talked about it as an office staff and we couldn't believe what we had heard," Cady said. "We had no idea that there was that great of need within Pocatello. We needed to help. We couldn't just be there and not do something about it."
Cady decided to issue his own challenge to the dental community to see whose office could bring in the most hygiene items. And the result was great.
"Definitely got well over 1,000 toothbrushes, toothpaste, hygiene items," Cady said. "We got a lot of other items too that we were asking for, we even had patients - we posted it in our lobby and we even had patients who were participating in it so it was really awesome to see. It was heartbreaking to hear of the need for it and to see the success and what we got, it was amazing."
The Rotary Club does plan to do it again next year, but hopefully earlier in the year so it doesn't conflict with the holiday season. The items donated will be stored at Lewis and Clark Elementary and other schools can come pick up items when they're needed.
Donations can still be made at the following locations: First American Title Company, Galaxy Computers, Marshall Library, State Farm Insurance - Summer Jackman Agency, and KZBQ / KORR.
Things to donate: toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo & conditioner, soap, lotion, deodorant, towels, washcloths, combs, brushes, Q-tips, disposable razors, laundry soap (pods or powder), dryer sheets and cleaning supplies. Monetary donations can also be made.