Hygiene items being collected for Marshalltown school district

T-R PHOTO BY MIKE DONAHEY A table full of personal hygiene products ranging from toothpaste to shampoo to bar soap greets Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA members in its lobby. They represent donations made by Y members and others to the “Holiday Hygiene Project” sponsored by Iowa Valley Leadership Class to benefit area high schoolers. Donations of personal products may be made at the Y, Child Abuse Prevention Services or Brown’s Shoe Fit.

The 2019/2020 Iowa Valley Leadership Class is running a holiday drive to collect hygiene items for the Marshalltown School District.

Community members can drop off deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrushes, body wash and other goods at:

• Brown’s Shoe Fit, 10 E. Main Street

• Child Abuse Prevention Services, 306 S. 17 Avenue

• YMCA-YWCA, 108 Washington Street by Dec. 17.

The collected items will be distributed to the local schools to serve the needs of district students.

“We just really want to be able to get as much as we can for our schools, because we know these items will be useful to them,” Nikki Hartwig, associate director of Child Abuse Prevention Services, said. “If it can help reduce the burden for anyone, then it’s definitely worthwhile.”

Iowa Valley Leadership is an annual class that meets monthly between September and May. The participants learn about local issues including Marshalltown history, poverty, social services, healthcare and recreation, among others.

As part of the class, participants choose a class project that will serve to benefit the community.

This year’s hygiene drive is serving as an additional holiday project.

The Marshalltown Community School District serves nearly 5,000 students, more than 76 percent of which are eligible for free or reduced price lunch, according to 2018 Iowa Department of Education numbers.

“I think it’s important to recognize that not every family and every child has access [to hygiene items],” Hartwig said.

At Miller Middle School, the donated goods will be added to a hygiene closet which was started by a personalized learning class in 2017. Students can take deodorant, body wash and other hygienic goods and necessities at no cost from the closet.

“When people think of people that are needing items, they usually think of food,” Miller Middle School Principal Pat Rial said. “They don’t necessarily think of deodorant or body wash or other items of the sort”

Science teacher Dan Cibula, who teaches the personalized learning class, still keeps the closet in his classroom for students to take what they need.

“It’s a really positive experience,” Cibula said. “It’s just another way that I can connect with students on a level that doesn’t have anything to do with education, it’s just a way that I can connect with them in their daily lives.”

Anybody with questions can contact Hartwig at nikki@capsonline.us or 641-752-1730.


Contact Shannon Rabotski

at 641-753-6611 or



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