It’s a simple act of kindness in a season of giving and you can be a part of the movement to bring holiday cheer to those who are in need.
Called the “Beautiful Maria” campaign, the idea for the drive originated in Brazil, the home country of Bruna Patelli. Patelli has lived on Guam for a little over two years and shares that a personal encounter with a homeless woman inspired her to launch the campaign this holiday season.
“I was driving, and then a homeless woman … she was asking for some money and she saw my gym bag in my car with some hygiene products. She then asked if she could have it and of course, I gave it to her,” Patelli said.
That brief encounter sparked the idea that her home country’s campaign could work here on Guam so she reached out to VARO and the Micronesia Climate Change Alliance (MCCA) office which is assisting with the collection of donations.
MCCA Founder Michelle Voacolo shares that part of the reason they decided to help out was to combat period poverty.
“A lot of girls in school are constantly going to the nurse’s office because they can’t afford tampons or pads and I have done my own digging and research into that and learned how prevalent that is. On Guam, everything is expensive because we import everything like shampoos and conditioners so we just wanted to be able to provide these to women who aren’t able to afford them,” Voacolo said.
While clothing is not being accepted, Patelli is reaching out to residents to stock up an old purse or bag with personal hygiene products such as shampoos, soap, toothpaste, deodorant, lotion … you can even throw in lipstick and a book.
The items can be dropped off at the MRE office in Tamuning behind the post office next to Unified gym. The donations will be accepted until Dec. 30 and will benefit clients of VARO.