Back to school season.  It's the time of year where parents just hope that they successfully checked off every item on their child's supply list and that they only come home with fun stories from the school day instead of telling you there's something you overlooked. 

Unfortunately, for close to 8,000 Idaho students there is no "home" to come back to after school.  According to the Idaho Department of Education, 7,820 students were identified as homeless within their public and charter school system. 83% of those children live in doubled up situations with no designated bedrooms for students, 6% were living in hotel for extended periods of time, 6% were living in shelters and 5% were completely unsheltered. An additional 1,700 kids were living in foster care.

When Calvin Smith, a freshman living in Nampa, reached out to the department for some inspiration for a potential Eagle Scout project, those numbers shocked him and he immediately knew what he wanted to do.  To earn his Eagle Scout, he wants to put together backpacks stuffed with hygiene kits for homeless students in Idaho. These students often have to pick-up and move quickly, often without necessary items to make them feel comfortable when the return to school.  Smith's kits would help make those essentials readily available and allow those students to feel somewhat normal while interacting with their peers.

All of the items for these backpacks are coming from donations through generous members of our community like you! Smith is holding a collection for items at the Walmart on Franklin in Nampa this Saturday, September 7 from 3-7 p.m. If you'd like to make a difference for these kids, these are the items to shop for:

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpase
  • Babywipes or wet naps
  • 2 in One Conditioner
  • Gender Neutral Bodywash
  • Feminine Products
  • Hair Comb/Brush
  • Gender Neutral Deodorant
  • Shaving Razors
  • Shaving Cream
  • Laundry Detergent (Small or Individual)