A group of students from Seneca Elementary has donated various hygiene products to Restoration Life Center Family Thrift Store in Neosho.

A group of students from Seneca Elementary has donated various hygiene products to Restoration Life Center Family Thrift Store in Neosho.
"Recently we received thousands of hygiene items supporting our mission of assisting community members in need," said RLC Family Thrift Store manager Bethany Kiele. "Coordinated by the Seneca Elementary second grade class, they got together and decided that they wanted to support a homeless shelter and they chose our shelter - which is the Restoration Life Center."
The donations consisted of shampoo, conditioner, toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shaving cream, some shoe shine kits, among other things.
Asked what is the main purpose of the thrift store, Kiele said, "our mission is to assist people in getting back into a productive life, that have run up on hard times, and either become homeless or have great need in other areas. We at the store, our purpose is to support the shelter first of all, and secondly to provide assistance to the community, to help their lives to be just a little bit easier in times of distress and need. Our catch phrase is 'serving Jesus, serving others.' We provide to the community among many things, but if someone has been out of their home for some reason, say they have had a fire or an unfortunate event like the flooding that occurred, then we are able to provide them with basic home needs including dishes, forks and spoons, sheets and things like that."
The thrift store also helps the Restoration Life Center Emergency Homeless Shelter located in Neosho.
"The shelter itself of course accepts people to live there on a limited basis depending on what their circumstances," she said. "We have everyone in the shelter from young men looking for jobs and getting back on their feet to families who are needing to get back on their feet and have exhausted other resources or just don't have other resource to reach out."
The hygiene products donated will go to a great cause.
"We also provide hygiene packs like we were given by the (students)," she said. "This is to residents of Newton County that are able to provide us with proof of residency."
Kiele said she is pleased with the recent donation of the hygiene products.
"I was blown away when I got the call from the teacher, that said that their school which is about 90 students have decided on this as their project," she said. "And they got the entire school involved, it wasn't just them, so each grade through sixth grade, they all chose an hygiene item to focus on (one grade got shampoo, one grade got toilet paper...), it was marvelous on what they were able to accomplish as a school, at that age level, for the reason. It is easy to want to reach out to homeless puppies, kittens, but when you want to reach out to and make a difference in the lives of other people at that age. that is pretty blessed."
They have also handed out some of the hygiene packs to residents in need.
"The first time I encountered one of our homeless residents in the area, asked for a hygiene pack, and he said to me, 'if I could just shave, I would feel so much better,'" she said. "He just wants a shave, a clean shave, he just wants to feel like a regular human being living his life."