RISE collects personal care items for ‘Springtime Spruce-Up’


“Everyone deserves to look and feel their best. I hope you enjoy the little gifts.” “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”

Those were among the messages tucked into 200 personal care packs that will be distributed by RISE staffers to its clients, many of whom cannot afford items such as a bar of soap, a bottle of shampoo or a new toothbrush.

The kits were assembled by more than 30 volunteers following RISE’s “Springtime Spruce-Up” personal care articles drive. RISE is a community service organization, based in Hightstown, that serves the Hightstown-East Windsor community.

From toothpaste, shampoo and razors to conditioner, soap and feminine personal products, families will have all they need for a “springtime spruce-up” in one neat little bag to be distributed at its food pantry, RISE officials said.

“These are niceties people don’t buy for themselves if they are struggling,” said Leslie Koppel, RISE’s executive director. “Until you see someone’s face light up (when they receive a care pack), you don’t realize these are things we take for granted.”

RISE often receives requests from its clients for personal care items, but can only fulfill those requests when there is a supply of shampoo, soap, toothbrushes and other personal care products.

Having those personal care items helps the clients look and feel their best, and contributes to their sense of well-being and optimism, Koppel said.

And that is why RISE launched its “Springtime Spruce-Up” personal care items drive, she said. Several companies sponsored care pack drives, and students also collected hundreds of items in what RISE officials said they hoped would be the first annual “Springtime Spruce-Up” drive.