BRIGHT BRIDGE HYGIENE MINISTRY: CONTINUING TO PROTECT THE HEALTH OF THE COMMUNITY, AT THE MOST IMPORTANT TIME

Bright Bridge volunteers Chris (left) and Cindy (right) handing out hygiene products.

We are blessed to be able to provide them with the basics for the time being.

Sue Collyer, Hygiene Ministry Leader at Bright Bridge Ministries Tweet

Our Growing Hygiene Ministry

Especially in this time, hygiene needs to be a top priority for our community, to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. Our Hygiene Ministry at Bright Bridge Ministries, which has addressed the hygiene needs of under-resourced individuals in the Pensacola community since the organization was founded in 2007, continues at this time, serving even more people than before.  While this ministry typically serves around 80-100 individuals per month, the numbers for last month doubled to around 200!  Sue Collyer, committed Hygiene Ministry leader for almost eleven year, has worked with her regular team of volunteers, and others at Bright Bridge, to keep the ministry going with special attention to the health and safety of all those involved.

Adapting our Hygiene Ministry to Keep Safely Serving Those in Need

Hygiene items are still distributed on the first Tuesday and Thursday of each month, from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., at Bright Bridge Ministries.  Moving from a custom, on-site assembly of the hygiene kits, in our dining room, amongst a large crowd, to an outdoor table for distributing generic, pre-made hygiene kits, Sue and her team have adapted the ministry to current public health guidelines.  Recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines have encouraged social distancing (staying 6 feet apart from others), and for those 65 and over to stay at home, as they are at an increased risk.  In compliance with these guidelines, the sidewalk on the DeSoto Street side of Bright Bridge Ministries’ building, where the Hygiene Ministry’s table is located, has been marked with X’s 6 feet apart, to encourage social distancing as people wait in line to receive hygiene items.  Also in compliance with CDC guidelines, regular volunteers who are ages 65 and over now pre-assemble hygiene kits, and other Bright Bridge volunteers and staff hand the kits out to the public, so the older volunteers may protect their health by avoiding contact with others.  Prior to the coronavirus, Sue’s Hygiene Ministry team included her right-hand helper Betty Porter, David Russo, who would break down large containers of shampoo, lotion, conditioner, dish-washing liquid, detergent, and Tylenol into smaller sizes, and other dedicated volunteers Beckie Mullen, Leroy Lowe, John and Stella Emmert, Judy Jonik, Anna Gray, Kim Collins, and Jennifer Molvik. Betty, Beckie, Jennifer, and Sue are the main members who have taken charge of the Hygiene Ministry since the coronavirus began. Although Sue hopes the time will come when she and her team can hand out individually-tailored hygiene kits in person, she says, “We are blessed to be able to provide them with the basics for the time being.”

Our Current Hygiene Bags

As far as items we currently give to our clients, the volunteers alternate between one month distributing a basic bag, and the next, distributing an enhanced bag with a few extra items. Now in particular, we deeply appreciate any donations, to keep serving double the number of people we were serving before, and to provide homeless and under-served individuals with the resources to maintain cleanliness and health. Please consider donating to our Hygiene Ministry during this crucial time, and explore the following list of items we accept for our hygiene kits:

Basic Items:
  • -Toilet Paper
  • -Shampoo
  • -Soap Bars
  • -Laundry Detergent
Extra Items:
  • -Deodorant
  • -Razor (for Men)
  • -Lotion (for Women)
  • -Toothpaste
  • -Toothbrush

Our Hygiene Ministry Depends on Faithful Donors and Volunteers

Any donations, whether in-kind or monetary, are greatly appreciated.  For many years, our Hygiene Ministry has received support from local Methodist churches, and we hope to keep growing our network of supporters.  Many of the volunteers contributing in-kind support to Bright Bridge’s Hygiene Ministry are from Pine Forest United Methodist Church (UMC) and Lillian UMC.  Under normal circumstances, hygiene bag assembly and distribution is typically done by members of the 25-person new Beginnings Sunday School Class at Pine Forest UMC, who are ages 65-90+, and they still participate by pre-assembling generic hygiene bags.  In addition to the regular hygiene items. women from Pine Forest UMC and Lillian UMC often knit beautiful, hand-made hats and scarves to be given out with the other supplies.  As far as monetary support, our Hygiene Ministry has relied on donations from Pine Forest UMC and Perdido Bay UMC since 2018. Additionally, many local churches have found creative ways to lend support to this ministry over the years, including the following:

Hosting “sock hops,” and donating hundreds of pairs of socks to the ministry.  (Clean, dry socks are always appreciated by our clients.)

Sunday School classes and Vacation Bible School classes have collected supplies and donated them, enabling us to add items such as the following to our hygiene kits, as they are available:

  • -Shaving Cream
  • -Bandaids
  • -Cough Drops
  • -Nail Clippers
  • -Candles
  • -Antibiotic Ointment
  • -Hand Sanitizer
  • -Hair Brushes
  • -Combs

Donating to Our Hygiene Ministry

We hope you will consider making an in-kind, or monetary contribution to our Hygiene Ministry at this time, since we are now serving twice as many people as before, and since an increased focus on cleanliness is needed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, especially amongst the under-resourced population we serve.  Please reference the previously listed hygiene items for in-kind donations.  If you would prefer to make a monetary contribution, you may do so at https://brightbridgeministries.org/donate/, leaving a note to designate your donation to the Hygiene Ministry, or make checks payable to:

Bright Bridge Ministries
2600 W. Strong Street
Pensacola, FL 32505

For: Hygiene Ministry

If you have any further questions, please email Sue Collyer, leader of our Hygiene Ministry, at suecollyer@cox.net.

A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL FREE (800.435.7352) WITHIN THE STATE.  REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION FROM THE STATE.  REGISTRATION CH51944.

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