By Amy Warshauer
By Amy Warshauer
“Are people these days seriously asking for deodorant donations?” Student Jeremy Mendia gawked as he overlooked a flyer.
He looked flustered. “Man, what is the world coming to when people can’t afford this kind of stuff. I really can’t believe it.”
As unbelievable as it may seem, it is a reality for many people today.
With the current downward spiral of the economy, many students are unable to acquire basic hygienic provisions that are needed on a daily or weekly basis.
Everyone needs a helping hand at some point, and the Associated Students of Riverside City College are reaching out to lend assistance.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor’s most recent unemployment report stated that unemployment has already risen from 8.5 to 8.9 percent from April. Joblessness for adult men and women has already raised 16.5 percent.
Student Government prefers not to stand idle in these times of need and has initiated a “call to action” for all students who wish to contribute products for care packages to give those who find themselves struggling financially.
On May 26, RCC students were granted approval to begin a donation program to help assist fellow students in need of basic toiletry items.
Specifically suggested are essentials such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, feminine products, detergent, fabric softener or any other toiletry items that may be deemed crucial.
Francisco Porras, co-founder of the program, explains why he felt this idea was necessary.
“Students were ashamed to come into class,” Porras said. “You know, there are a lot of homeless students living out of their cars, and when they can’t afford the basic things they need, they don’t want to show up because they are ashamed. After we confronted the issue, we knew we had to help.”
This program is not temporary. There is no deadline for turning in these products, and members hope to strengthen the program and expand it into all types of donations.
Even the RCC Norco Campus has taken it upon itself to participate, and Moreno Valley is hopeful for jumping on the district wide bandwagon next.
Katie Balk, a Riverside City College student, dropped off her grocery bag of donations and left with a smile.
“I think it’s very important for students to donate just a little something. Anything they can,” Balk said. “At one point in my life I was someone who needed this kind of help, so I can tell you that even the smallest thing can make a difference. Now that I am lucky enough to be able to give back, I always do what I can for people in need.”
Those who are interested in contributing can make their donations during college hours in the Student Government room, located behind the Cafeteria. Two large white bins are designated for all hygienic contributions that students wish to give.
Students who wish to acquire some of the donations and are in need of some extra help may visit the Student Services office on Tuesday or Thursday of any week and sign up for aid confidentially.