MACHESNEY PARK — On Saturday, March 27 from 10 a.m. to noon, New Life United Methodist Church will hold a paper and personal care item drive to support the New Life Paper Angel Closet

as part of our annual Easter Egg Hunt. The Easter Egg Hunt is open to all kids through age 8.

The closet, in partnership with one body collaborative provides emergency assistance to families that are struggling because of job loss, medical or other financial hardships.

New Life, a new church in Machesney Park and is located within Hilltop Ministry Center, 8301 Mitchell Road.

“We were looking for a way to reach out and make a difference in our community,” Mark Meyers pastor of the church said.

“We discovered that the community had some food pantries and places that individuals could get clothes, but what we discovered was that people could not get items like bath tissue, laundry soap, toothpaste, shampoo and other paper and personal care items.”

“As we started the closet, we noticed the need in the rising population of at-risk students in our schools. These students need our help,” Meyers said.

“New Life has begun to partner with the Regional Office of Education to provide those identified students with basic necessities.

“As part of our ongoing Paper Angel Closet we are already providing these goods to families in need, but we want to make sure none of our children go without the basics that many of us take for granted,” Meyers went on.

“By the end of 2014 the Regional Office of Education identified 2,621 students as homeless in Winnebago and Boone counties. This is up from 1,648 in 2013 and only 694 in 2011.

“We ended the year with 2,228 active homeless students and growing. We expect to identify at least 3,000 students as homeless this year,” said Harold Sweeney, Director of At-Risk Student Services for Boone and Winnebago Regional Office of Education.

Items to be collected will be:

Bath tissue, bar soap, paper towels, toothpaste, facial tissues, toothbrushes, feminine hygiene products, dish soap, deodorant, laundry soap, shampoo, bleach

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