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Local businesses gathering laundry detergent for the homeless

Becky Jaynes, the at-risk coordinator for the Twin Falls Schools District says her office supports about 305 students between all 16 schools
Non-profits donate laundry detergent for students in need
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 3:27 PM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — A bottle of laundry detergent probably doesn’t seem like much to the average person. However, to a family without it, it can mean the difference between attending school or not.

“Kids have the most safe environment at the school and it’s where most kids get their meals,” said Tineka Dawn of Dawning Bliss INC. “So when they aren’t showing up because they don’t have clean clothes or they are afraid of being bullied, just a detergent can change that. I know it sounds simple and silly but that’s a reality a lot of people don’t recognize.”

Laundry detergent is a gap item, meaning it is something that isn’t normally donated. We asked what is being done to help these families and found that so far The United Way and other community partners have raised more than 1,500 jugs of laundry detergent. Those community partners include Wolverton Homes, Dawning Bliss INC, Strong by Nutrition, and Feel Good Nutrition.

“If you are choosing between food and laundry detergent, I hope they choose food, and the community can come together and give other gap items they really need,” said Dawn.

Becky Jaynes, the at-risk coordinator for the Twin Falls Schools District says her office supports about 305 students between all 16 schools.

To be considered homeless, the family must be living in a motel, hotel, shelter, car, tent, or living with another family. Jaynes says she suspects the actual number of homeless students to be higher than what’s known.

“I think there are so many that are not identified, there are people who are nervous about being labeled as homeless, so there are a lot of people that go undetected,” said Jaynes.

While laundry detergent is a simple commodity, for these students, it changes their daily life.

“Some kids will be teased if they smell, other kids will tease them if their clothes are dirty or they are wearing the same clothes day after day, so we try to connect them with resources to have clothes and keep it clean,” said Jaynes.

If you would like to donate laundry detergent visit Feel Food Nutrition, Strong by Nutrition, or The United Way.

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