NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Volunteers from across Middle Tennessee spent their Saturday morning building hundreds of hygiene kits to help public school students experiencing homelessness.

The Community Resource Center and Metro Nashville Public Schools Homeless Education Resource Office (HERO) partnered in the event preparing up to 400 kits with supplies students need before the school year returns. 

Tina Doniger, Executive Director of the CRC, says hygiene should be just as important as food or shelter when it comes to students who are facing housing hardships. 

“We really feel like hygiene is a basic need just like food, clothing and shelter,” said Doniger, “Students are already facing so many challenges maybe they’re couch surfing, living in a hotel, or just facing challenges that they didn’t ask to be put in. So, this is our way of saying ‘hey, we see you, and we want you to be clean, healthy and put your best foot forward when school gets back in session.’”

More than a dozen volunteers helped pack over 400 kits with full-sized shampoos, toothbrushes and deodorant. 

According to the Community Resource Center, an estimated 3,000 students in Metro Public Schools are experiencing homelessness, and nearly 5,000 students across Middle Tennessee come to school without a stable place to sleep at night.

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Doniger says the organization plans to distribute the HERO hygiene kits to nine school districts across Middle Tennessee ahead of the 2022-2023 school year.

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