Activity Day Instructions

before you begin, Watch thE Instructional Video

Step 1 - Set up the space for your group

Items you will need:

  • Empty Boxes

  • Tape

  • Markers

  • Paper

  • Hygiene Products

  • Reusable, Simply the Basics tote bags

Prep the Message Writing Areas - Cut up the paper into quarters or cards and put the markers with them. You will be using these with your group to include messages in each hygiene kit!

Set up the Hygiene Tables: Place the Tote bags at the beginning of a line, hygiene items opened up and in a line along tables, and empty boxes and tape at the end. Ensure all boxes are opened and easy to access. We recommend having extra space at the end of your tables, boxes can fill up quickly!

Step 2 - Compassionate Conversations

People will feel more connected to the day when they have a better idea of the impact that their time will make! It is more than simply distributing products, but is a system to engage with people in need, to improve physical health, and to save nonprofits time. 

Show the Documentary Video - When you gather the group, start by showing our Documentary. It is only 8 minutes long! No AV available? Email it to everyone in advance!

Engage in a Compassionate Discussion - Next, we encourage you to have a conversation about homelessness with the group! A way to do this is to start by going around the room, and asking everyone to engage in one of the following Discussion Questions:

  • Share one word that you think of when you think of homelessness.

  • Why do you think it is so difficult for someone experiencing homelessness to find a home? Find employment?

  • Why is it better to say “Someone Experiencing Homelessness” rather than “Homeless Person”? (Hint! It is because it is not their identity, it is a temporary experience that can have an end).

  • What is one Hygiene Item, that if you didn’t have every day, you would have a hard time going to school/work/etc?

Step 3 - Write Messages

Everyone should be given a few of those sheets of paper that you prepared earlier and a marker. Many of our Recipients have expressed how much they appreciate a connection to the volunteers. Therefore, we encourage you to write some notes for the receiver!

Please only provide positive language or pictures. Since we don’t know who will receive these messages, we ask that you do not write anything religious or political. 

Not sure what to say? I like to simply write “Hope that this helps - the community cares about you!”

Step 4 - Fill the Totes!

You are now ready to start packing! Have at least one person stationed at the end of the line. This person will be your “Box Packer”. They will ensure kits get neatly placed in the boxes. 

Have people take one or two bags at a time, and go down the line to fill them up with hygiene products, and include one of the above handwritten messages in each!

If you have an extra large group, feel free to place people in front of tables and rather pass the bags down the line. 

At the end of the line, make sure that the bags get tied once, and folded neatly. The more you can fit in a box the better! The last people should ensure that totes are neatly placed. Once a box is full, write the total kits on the front, tape it up, and move aside. 

Step 5 - Celebrate with a Closing Video!

The final step is a Simply the Basics tradition. Gather everyone together to take our traditional Team Video.

One person videotaping or by setting up a camera, direct everyone to share:

“We are (Insert Team Name) and today we packed #x of Hygiene Kits for Simply the Basics!”

Share your video and any photos that you took with us and we will post to social media!