Helping those in need in Rock County with ‘Christmas in July’ drive for hygiene products

JANESVILLE, Wis. — SSM Health and Youth2Youth 4 Change are teaming up to help community members in need.

The event that they call “Christmas in July” began July 11th and will go until July 25th. The gifts being given are not your traditional toys or cards, but rather hygiene and laundry products.

This is the third year that the event has been going on, and since COVID, community members have frequently needed help as they face homelessness or poverty.

“It’s something that they constantly need, and again with the rising cost in groceries, and this is something that they don’t get help with, it’s something that will continually be needed,” Youth2Youth 4 Change directer Debbie Fischer said.

Donation bins are placed at St. Mary’s Hospital and the SSM Health Dean Medical Group Janesville East clinic, where the public is encouraged to do their part to help their community and help donate if they can.

“Our partners in the community have access to people that we don’t, because normally we have to wait for our patients to come here, but here’s a way for us to reach out before anyone is a patient,” Chaplain Randy Booth said.

The products can help provide people the everyday needs that they deserve.

“This is important for mental health, even when you think about kids not having clean clothes, not having something to wash themselves or brush their teeth, and when that’s provided to them their grades are better, they go to school more, they feel happier,” Fischer says.

This event is also done to help people stay healthy, and save a trip to the hospital.

“SSM Health always wants to reach out to the community in order to help people stay healthy before they even get to the hospital,” Booth said.

There are four bins located at the hospital. People can bring in anything including toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, laundry soap, feminine products, and other things that can help the members of Rock County stay healthy.