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The seemingly lofty goal of packing 100 hygiene bags for homeless veterans in Colorado quickly became easily achieved when TallGrass Spa and Salon started getting generous donations from the …
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The seemingly lofty goal of packing 100 hygiene bags for homeless veterans in Colorado quickly became easily achieved when TallGrass Spa and Salon started getting generous donations from the community.
Instead, about 20 volunteers packed 412 bags in one hour on Friday morning. The bags were filled with items such as soap, toothbrushes, sanitizer, deodorant and other hygiene products. Local students also wrote notes, drew pictures and folded origami to include in the bags.
Gail Sharp, owner of TallGrass, was blown away by the support the community provided for the project.
“I wasn’t sure if we’d get 100. Then as more and more (donated items) came, I ordered more bags,” she said.
Eleven years ago, TallGrass Spa and Salon started its Soldier Box Project, where volunteers packed hygiene supplies for soldiers overseas. With troops withdrawing from Afghanistan, this year the group decided to focus its efforts on local homeless veterans.
The project was originally started by Deb Dickinson from the salon when she started packing boxes with friends and then got more of the community involved.
“This has been amazing once TallGrass and Rotary got involved,” she said.
Dickinson feels a special connection to the project. Her father was a prisoner of war, so she finds volunteering like this to be a good way to honor him.
“(We’re) just supporting our military however we can,” she said.
Volunteers on Friday and at an earlier sorting event came from volunteer groups such as Rotary, National Honor Society and Blue Spruce Kiwanis.
Kristy Tolan, a Kiwanis member, has been volunteering with the Soldier Box Project roughly five years ago, and she was moved by the overwhelming support from the community.
“You can tell from the donations the impact it has on the community,” Tolan said.
“I don’t have words for it. I just want to cry.”
After packing the bags, the volunteers loaded them into trucks that took them to the Volunteers of America Bill Daniels Veteran Service Center in Denver to be distributed to homeless veterans.
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