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MLK Jr. Day of Service Drive Collects “Overlooked” Goods For Pittsburgh's Needy

Pittsburgh Cares and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership are organizing a toiletry drive to benefit the underprivileged in the region.

Vivian Croft, program coordinator at Pittsburgh Cares, said that the drive helps collect goods that often get overlooked as necessities.

"We have places like food pantries, food banks, places that people can go to get other types of items that they need in their home," Croft said. "But when it comes to smaller things like toiletries, a lot of those things aren't really thought of as needed."

The drive is being held in celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, (January 16) and has two collection points: at the office of Pittsburgh Cares, 239 Fourth Avenue downtown, and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership office at 925 Liberty Avenue downtown. Donations will be accepted through January 13.

Croft said that the toiletries will be organized and packaged by volunteers at local universities on the "Day of Service" and then distributed to some 600 nonprofit partners to disseminate where needed.

Croft said that needed items include travel-size toiletries such as soaps, hand soaps, cleansers of any types, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, lotion, hygiene products for women, and shaving products for men.

"These sort of fall by the wayside," Croft said. "A lot of people aren't able to take care of themselves the way they would in more fortunate times and so we're seeing a great need and we're reaching out to a lot of our nonprofit partners who reach out to people in need."