Paragon Pals is one of our Club's newest programs. The Club collects personal items, mostly for women, that we bag and then donate to various shelters, or those in need.
We collect shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, Kleenex, soap, hand sanitizer, deodorant, lotion, combs, razors, and other miscellaneous items.
At one of the meetings before we divide up the items collected, the Club, under the expert guidance of our in-house seamstress Pat Boehm, bags are hand-made of assorted materials, and finished with a draw string. This way, when the necessities are gone, there is a bag for them to keep and use as they like.
The idea for Paragon Pals actually started when I was assisting Governor Cherie Gentry in Columbus. I had to come up with an idea to entertain those not attending the OI Ohio District training sessions. I decided on a project to help others. I sent a letter to all members of the Ohio District asking for the personal items and small purses or bags to be brought to the next quarter meeting. I was overwhelmed by the response! We made close to 300 bags that were donated to a local homeless shelter.
The program was so well received, I thought it would be great to continue it on a club level.
So far, we have donated to Hope Gospel Mission, New Life Mission, and Haven House.
We continue collecting all year long, and fill bags twice a year. We also include a card in each bag with a little message for the donee. I hope we continue this for many years, as there is always someone who needs a little help now and then.
Sally Schmidt, Paragon Pals Committee Chair