The donations are starting to pour in. One week on from the launch of a new Christmas campaign for toiletries to donate to people in Fife living in poverty, and the boxes are starting to fill up.
The Fife Free Press is backing the campaign launched by Cara Forrester, editor of online magazine Queendom Of Fife to try to make a very real, positive difference to the lives of many local people.
We are one of more than 20 businesses across the region which have all agreed to become collection points for your donations.
Why? Because, in 2019, there are people mired in such poverty they cannot afford to buy the items many of us take for granted – soap to wash our face, toothpaste and deodorant.
The impact that has on their self-esteem can be profound.
Imagine going for an interview without being able to wash properly. Imagine being too embarrassed to attend college because you cannot buy sanitary products.
Imagine having to choose between food for your kids, or buying hair products.
It is a damning indictment of the austerity that has wrapped itself with a vice-like grip in parts of Kirkcaldy that people are facing those awful choices.
That’s why Cara brought a national campaign to Fife for the very first time.
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The Beauty Bank is already established in Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as London.
It was launched in February 2018 by two women in the beauty industry – PR Jo Jones, and journalist Sali Hughes.
They had friends in teaching who were buying toiletries for pupils who couldn’t afford basic essentials such as deodorant or sanitary protection.
They launched an appeal which quickly snowballed into a UK-wide Beauty Bank.
Cara has become the Fife Beauty Bank champion, and through her website, she has created a network of collection points across all the key towns in Fife – from Dunfermline to Kirkcaldy and up to St Andrews.
Her own aim was to sign up five businesses.
She now has over 20 and the list is still growing.
“I wasn’t expecting that amazing response so quickly!” she said.
“The generosity of the business community never ceases to amaze me, and I know Fifers will take this appeal to their hearts and make a difference this festive season to folk struggling on their own doorstep.
“Hygiene isn’t a luxury, it’s a basic human right.
“It’s really simple to be involved as a business or local organisation and it isn’t something that costs the earth for local people who want to make a difference and donate.”
The campaign is incredibly simply – but it can be extremely powerful.
All you have to do is pop an extra packet of toothpaste, a hair product, deodorant into your weekly shop, and then drop them off at the collection points most convenient to you.
Your kindness will directly be felt by someone living locally goods will be donated to charities working in the frontline.