Kay’s Way seeks community help collecting necessities for Isabella County women and girls

Access to basic supplies and body care items is a vital part of a person’s health and happiness; however, not all Isabella County women and girls are able to obtain these essentials. The Women’s Initiative, a subgroup of Mount Pleasant Area Community Foundation (MPACF), will host another Kay’s Way: A Supply Drive for The Care Store this month in an effort to supply hygiene and personal care items to those in need. 

Linda Coyne, co-chair of the Women’s Initiative, says the supply drive is one of two fundraisers the group puts on annually. Founded in 2003 by Judy F. Smith and Kay Krapohl Smith, the Women’s Initiative aims to provide for the needs of women and girls in Isabella County. 

In the past, Kay’s Day was a ticketed social gathering, which doubled as a fundraiser. Last year, the event transformed to Kay’s Way and became a supply drive. 

“We felt that during COVID, and with inflation right now, this would be something people would need,” Coyne says. “We also felt people would be willing to contribute these items. The social event was a $50 ticket, and not everybody can afford to go to a fundraiser like that. We felt this would be more in tune with the state of affairs here, and more conducive to everybody being able to contribute.”

Feminine hygiene products, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, styling products, shaving cream, razors, lotion, toothbrushes, and toothpaste are some of the requested supplies.The supply drive accepts new, unused feminine hygiene products, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, styling products, shaving cream, razors, lotion, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. 

“All of the things people use, but if you’re on some kind of welfare, it’s not covered by your EBT or WIC cards,” Coyne says. “This year, we also decided to include Clothing, Inc. We’re going to be collecting items for women and girls, like underwear, socks, and sports bras. That will be new this year.”

Last year, the event brought in over $10,000 worth of donations and a $2,500 grant from the MPACF to bulk-purchase needed items.
During the pandemic, the endowment fund has been able to grant local organizations and residents with valuable resources, including phone/video outpatient mental health options, coats, boots, diapers, baby formula, bikes, and more. 

Donations for the supply drive can be dropped off at two locations: Krapohl Ford & Lincoln, 1415 E. Pickard Rd., and Weichert Realtors/Broadway Realty, 614 E. Broadway St., from May 9-25.

Additionally, Krapohl Ford & Lincoln is hosting an oil change day on May 18, donating all the proceeds to the Women’s Initiative. 

Financial donations can also be made online, says Coyne. “When people donate [dollars] to the Women’s Initiative, it’s money that goes into the fund and we use the interest to supply money to other organizations to do good things.”

Read more articles by Sarah Spohn.

Sarah Spohn is a Lansing native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over Michigan, leaving her truly smitten with the mitten. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, dining, community, and anything Michigan-made. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at spohn9@gmail.com.