Lake Norman & Mooresville

Drive is on for comfort kits to help homeless

United Way - with the help of Harris Teeter, UPS and industrial packaging manufacturer Greif Inc. - is holding a drive this week for comfort kits to help homeless men, women and children throughout the Charlotte region.

All Harris Teeter stores in Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Iredell and Union counties will have collection barrels in stores through Friday morning. Customers are asked to collect toiletry items in gallon-sized, zip-close bags, including a small stuffed animal for kits for children.

Items sought include shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant and small new stuffed animals (for children's kits).

The comfort kits will be delivered to United Way partner agencies serving the homeless, including: A Child's Place, Ada Jenkins Center, Center For Community Transitions, Charlotte Emergency Housing, Florence Crittenton Services, Hope Haven, Men's Shelter of Charlotte, Salvation Army Center of Hope, United Family Services' Battered Women's Shelter and YWCA.

"This is a great example of something simple that can make a big difference in someone's life," said Catherine Reuhl, communication specialist for Harris Teeter.

Several organizations are also holding company-wide drives to create comfort kits, including BJ's Membership Club, City of Charlotte's 311 Call Center, CMS' Exceptional Children Department, Dixon-Hughes and UPS.

United Way's kit drive last summer netted more than 60,000 items at a value of over $124,000.