Giving aid to those in need comes in many forms, but one not often thought about is this: everyone likes the feeling of being clean.

That isn’t so easy for families using SNAP cards, or those who are homeless and need detergents and soaps, conditioners and combs to put their best feet forward when searching for work or simply sending children off to school with clean clothes. SNAP after all only covers food and drinks, not toilet paper or toothpaste.

In recent days, Jennifer Norwood, the Polk HRDC Services Coordinator at Tallatoona CAP and with other organizations surrounding their office in One Door Polk and in the community to help fill this gap, and were able to get a large amount of supplies in they can now give out during office visits.

Norwood said the donation drive began as a friendly challenge between the offices in Bartow and Polk County to see who could bring in more donations, but in the end the real winners are those who are able to utilize the supplies.

“One Door Polk and Bartow both believe it’s too close to count,” Norwood said. “Both counties agree that each county can be proud of the support, generous hearts and donations that each received. I must say this: Polk County, you rock, and are winners in my book each and everyday.”

She added that she was humbled by the amount of donations brought in, and the help provided by groups like Polk Family Connection, Women of Worldview Baptist Church, the Department of Family and Children Services, and biggest of all was the Southside Baptist Church Vacation Bible School Mission program.

Norwood said they were able to bring in baskets filled with supplies and in some cases handwritten notes from the children containing the leftover change people can use to feed quarters into laundromat washers and dryers.

“We all should give a big shout out to these children who gave to their neighbors in need,” Norwood said.

Rhonda Heuer, who helped out with organizing space for all the collected supplies at One Door Polk, said it was great to watch everyone come together to especially help those in the greatest need have supplies to feel like themselves again.

“Tallatoona CAP is a valuable partner at One Door Polk and we are excited to continue to work with them to improve conditions for families in Polk County. This personal hygiene drive is another example of One Door Polk providers and our partners in the community working together to support families,” she said. “Polk Family Connection is committed to working together in this community through similar projects at One Door Polk to make families more stable and self-sufficient and to help ensure a thriving community.”

Community partners began over 5 years ago to seek ways to break down barriers and develop a plan to improve the health, wellness and the economic well being of citizens of Polk County through the creative reuse of the former Polk Medical Center facility.

Mental and physical health and social service agencies continue to provide high quality, easily accessible treatment, education, and support services for the most in need by bringing together this multi-tenant social service hub which offers a full spectrum of services from cradle through career solutions and supporting citizens to the end of life under one roof. The organizations under the roof of One Door Polk in the former home of Polk Medical Center include Primary Healthcare, Highland Rivers Healthcare, Tallatoona CAP, Polk Family Connections, CASA of Polk and Haralson Counties, and many more.

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