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I SERVE WITH JOY Working to End “Hygiene Poverty”



Many of the ways people are impacted by poverty are well known, – lack of access to healthy foods, affordable housing, childcare, as well as many other challenges – but one less familiar issue has become more clear during the pandemic as individuals and families have struggled to meet another basic need – access to hygienic goods.

Local nonprofit I Serve with Joy (ISWJ) is addressing this issue head on by distributing “Fresh Start Kits” to those in need of essential hygiene products. The Fresh Start Program was launched to serve families in the Charleston metro area who are struggling to afford essential hygiene products including soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, etc.

“People shouldn’t have to choose between eating or staying clean,” said Joy Campbell, ISWJ founder. “Most of us take basic toiletries for granted, but too many of our neighbors are faced with difficult choices and minimal options when it comes to hygiene necessities. Hygiene poverty impacts physical and mental health, as well as educational success and employability. Fortunately, this is a problem we can solve.”

ISWJ has already had success distributing over 15,000 masks, thousand of bottles of hand sanitizer, and thousands of wireless earphones to individuals and organizations during the pandemic. Now they are turning their focus to address hygiene poverty by distributing thousands of Fresh Start Kits to the community.

The nonprofit’s newest partner is Old Navy (7620 Rivers Ave., Suite 210, North Charleston), which will be hosting a drop-in event this Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 pm. During the event, you can meet Joy and learn more about the program while you shop. Old Navy will also be collecting financial donations on behalf of I Serve with Joy at all their registers through May 1st.

By making an online donation, attending an event, or joining I Serve with Joy as a corporate or nonprofit partner, you can be part of the solution to hygiene poverty in the Lowcountry.

You can learn more at

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