Most of us take soap and shampoo for granted. Our hands are clean, teeth brushed, and our faces washed. Sadly, for far too many of our neighbors, this is not the case.

Since 1988, those at Shoebox Ministry have made it their sole mission to provide hygiene items to neighbors in need through their network of over 30 nonprofit agencies, all of whom are local to the Greater Phoenix area. These agencies distribute their hygiene kits to their clients who are adults and children experiencing homelessness, domestic violence survivors, people in recovery, and others who need, but cannot afford, hygiene items. For many adults, having the opportunity to maintain their personal hygiene means that a homeless individual may have a chance at being offered employment, setting them on a path to become independent and productive members of society once again.

For kids, school attendance, academic achievement, positive peer relationships, confidence, a sense of control, and health all increase with good hygiene.

Lee Humes, founder of one of their nonprofit partners, Deep Within, and Shoebox hygiene kits recipient himself over 20 years ago, said “Shoebox Ministry and the personal hygiene items represented a new beginning in my life and my recovery, and gave me a fresh start with increased confidence to continue my life – and my journey.”

While the government-funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funds provides money for food, it never allows for the purchase of basic hygiene items. Shoebox fills this gap in our community, helping to alleviate the burden of having to choose or go without.

Shoebox Ministry is grateful for the support of our community here in the Valley and would like to leave with four ways to get involved:

• You’re invited to Fill the (Shoe)Box on April 3 for a hot breakfast, a little inspiration, and an opportunity to contribute to the good work they are doing now. Find more information, including sponsorship opportunities, at

• Donate new and very gently used purses for their annual Mother’s Day event where they give away purses stocked with beauty products to moms experiencing homelessness and domestic violence survivors.

• Have a drawer full of toiletries from traveling? They’d love to take them off your hands! Stop into their office, located at 13645 N. 32nd St in Phoenix, Monday-Friday between 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.

• As a nonprofit, they have access to discounted toiletry items and can purchase by the pallet, averaging 3x more hygiene items with every donated dollar. Bonus: your gift qualifies as an Arizona Charitable Tax Credit donation, meaning that up to $400 or $800 of it is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in state taxes. When you make a donation to Shoebox Ministries, it doesn’t cost you a dime. Questions? Visit

We know that when everyone has access to the basics, they gain a positive outlook and are able to take the next big steps in their journey of becoming productive and accepted members of our community—and we’d love to have you become a part of ours! Join us at