Having laid dormant for two years due to the pandemic, the YWCA NWT is once again launching its annual spring toiletry drive, which will kick off on May 6.

The organization is looking for community support through donations of toiletries and essential care items.

Donations will go to YWCA clients in emergency and transitional housing, youth programs and family violence shelters. Due to the dual year impact of Covid, YWCA NWT stresses that “the need for these care items is at an all-time high.”

“So our clients are families and women with less,” YWCA NWT president Kate Reid said. “They’re finding it more and more difficult during this high inflationary period to make their dollar stretch.

“We’re removing that barrier for people to make difficult choices between diapers or dinner, basically,” she said.

Essential care items donated will provide comfort to families that often arrive at family violence shelters with “only the clothes they are wearing,” according to Hawa Dumbuya-Sesay, executive director of YWCA NWT. “So having access to small comforts and care items mean a lot.”

The wave of demand means that the waiting list for access to YWCA services in the territory has climbed to more than 100 affected families.

“We are in touch with them,” Reid said. “So in our programs, we help (in or around) 100 families, and we have at least 100 more, 150 more on a waiting list.”

The drive will run from May 6 to May 23. The most sought after toiletries include soap and body wash, shampoo and conditioner, baby products (diapers, diaper cream, powder, lotion and ointment), toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, combs/brushes/hair elastics, pads and tampons, razors, shaving cream, deodorant or anti-perspirant, lip balm and face and body lotion.

“Whatever you can spare, it’s great,” Reid said.

YWCA NWT encourages schools and workplaces to take part in the toiletry drive through their own drives and friendly competitions.

Dropoffs are to occur at Sutherlands Drugs, located on 4910 Franklin Ave., as well as the entrances of Yellowknife Multiplex and Yellowknife Fieldhouse.

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