Paramedic collects toiletries for charity

Samantha Slingers from Bridgetown.

A Bridgetown resident has started a charity drive to get toiletry packs to those in need, and is appealing to the community for donations.

Samantha Slingers started the drive two years ago when she realised that there were many women who could not afford to buy basic essentials such as sanitary towels.

She collected donations from family, friends, and colleagues, which she donated to OWL Haven Development Shelter in Lansdowne.

Having recently graduated as a paramedic, Ms Slingers said at the core of her career was the desire to help people in need – and that’s why she embarked on the project.

Late last year she decided to include soap, a face cloth, toothpaste, a toothbrush, toilet roll and a warm blanket – in addition to the sanitary towels – in the pack.

On Saturday January 20, these packs were donated to 12 women at the shelter.

“It was quite hectic to manage the drive on a bigger scale and we needed much more donations and volunteers,” she said.

Now the plan is to donate sanitary packs to the about 50 to 70 men at the shelter as soon as donations have been collected.

“The men’s packs will be the same (but) we will just replace the sanitary towels with a packet of tissues. We still need many more donations before we can distribute the packs as well as blankets, which should be 125cmx125cm. There are surprisingly many more men at shelters than women so this might take us a few months,” said Ms Slingers.

Future plans include donating toiletry packs to pupils at underprivileged schools.

“I’ve always wanted to help people, I’m in the profession of helping others, it’s part of who I am and it’s my passion.”

She said that her motivation stemmed from the gratitude and appreciation of the recipients.

“At the shelter they told us to keep in contact and that they needed help with programmes for the elderly on a Sunday so that is something we’d like to work on as well,” she said.

To get involved or to make a donation, call Samantha Slingers on 078 257 5952, or like her Facebook page WeCare-charity drive.