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Old 04-28-2010, 08:24 PM
GilaB is offline
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Anybody know how I could get a LOT of sample-size toiletries for cheap?


I volunteer in a local ER as an advocate for patients who've been sexually assaulted or victims of domestic violence. My program would really love to put together some 'Dignity Kits' of toiletries and basic clothing items for patients to use when showering and changing after a rape kit has been done, but (surprise, surprise) we really don't have any funding to put such things together. I'm sure there's got to be somebody, somewhere who's got thousands of tiny shampoo bottles with the hotel's name misprinted on them or something like that, but I can't really find them online anywhere. Anybody have any suggestions as to how I could find a whole bunch of cheap mini-shampoos/conditioners/soaps/toothpastes?

Minimus.biz requires a minimum $250 order for wholesale, and I don't think we have that kind of money; there's some stuff on eBay that's worth looking into. I'm sure there's other sources I'm not thinking of.
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:27 PM
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Why not contact the motel/hotel chains that distribute these toiletries to their guests? If you can't get a donation directly from them, perhaps you can find out who supplies them and approach their suppliers?
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:28 PM
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eBay.
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:46 PM
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Ask for donations.

Go to places like Walgreens or the like, any place that sell sample sizes, and ask if they corporation would be willing to make a donation to a good cause. This might mean you have to work your way up the chain of command a bit as I doubt the low-level flunkies have the authority to do this, but it's one place to start.

Go to major hotel chains and do the same thing.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:05 PM
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Gimme an address. We have boxes and boxes of hotel soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion. Can't help on the toothpaste, though. We use those ourselves.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:08 PM
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I have a bunch that I can donate, too. Send me a PM and I'd be happy to ship some to you.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:36 PM
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silenus and blondebear, thanks so much for your offers! I've PMed you with the details.
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:35 AM
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... or I suppose you could have a donation drive on a large message board. Gee, wonder if there's such a forum....?

(Better ask the admins, first, though)
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:48 AM
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I was totally not expecting a donation drive when I started this, but you're right. I've emailed a mod.
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Old 04-29-2010, 02:26 PM
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[moderating]
Got your email, GilaB. Thanks for asking.
We'll retroactively approve this one. Carry on.
[/moderating]
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Old 04-29-2010, 02:38 PM
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Just contact the manufactuers, they may help. Hotels and such can stock things like soap and such, so they aren't as apt to give it to you, as the manufactuers.

You may also want to start a website for your charity if you don't have one. You could go to 1and1 (or GoDaddy) and find very cheap ways to get a domain name and even set up a simple site with their WYSIWYG editors.
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Old 04-29-2010, 02:47 PM
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I see Aveda products in a lot of hotels these days. I'd research who does their community outreach or marketing/pr and see if they could help you out.

Here's a link for corporate inquiries. I bet if you could tie this in to an article in the paper or a news program or even a blog they'd be interested.
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Old 04-29-2010, 03:41 PM
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I have ZERO experience in PR/marketing, and have no idea of how to go about contacting manufacturers. Given the basic information (like the link for corporate inquiries,) do I now call, and try to explain this to whatever low-level functionary answers the phone, hoping to get bumped up the food chain? If not, how do I find out how to contact?
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Old 04-29-2010, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
I have ZERO experience in PR/marketing, and have no idea of how to go about contacting manufacturers. Given the basic information (like the link for corporate inquiries,) do I now call, and try to explain this to whatever low-level functionary answers the phone, hoping to get bumped up the food chain? If not, how do I find out how to contact?
A lot of large companies have a link somewhere on their website for corporate giving, email or call. I do fund raising for an animal rescue and gotten some really good donations and discounts on items this way. Just tell them what you want, why you want it and who you are. Most places are willing to help. Some even have "forms" available on line for you to fill out and submit.

If you can't find a link on a website, you can always call the corporate office and ask tell them what you are looking for, the person who answers the phone should be able to direct you to someone.

Even if they don't give things away, you can get really good discounts. I purchased something like 8 cases of potato chips for $30 directly from the manufacturer, just by calling and asking if they did discounts/donations for non-profits. Some places won't advertise that they do this, but will help you out.

Good luck. I am sure you can get exactly what you need for little to no cost to the institution.
  #15  
Old 04-29-2010, 04:04 PM
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Yep, just give that number a call and start from there. Let them know your name, your org, and that you're needing donations for "items for patients to use when showering and changing after a rape kit has been done". "Can you direct me to the appropriate person or department?"

Bingo bango. If that's not fruitful, I would start at the store level and ask for a regional contact.

Target and Walmart also have travel sized stuff. I believe Walmart managers are independently empowered to make community donations. Not sure at Target, but they'll tell you.
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Old 04-29-2010, 04:11 PM
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If you don't get enough from donations then a $.99 store might sell travel size toiletries. The one near me does.
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Old 04-29-2010, 04:16 PM
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I compulsively order free samples online, I guess with the idea that we can use them for traveling but I'm way uneven on amount of samples vs. amount of vacation. I'd love to send some your way, PM please?
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Old 04-29-2010, 05:13 PM
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I bet you could easily get enough donations from posters here to make up that $250 minimum, if you can't get enough from straight-up item donations, too.
  #19  
Old 06-29-2014, 04:55 PM
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Sample size toiletry donations


I know this thread is really old but I just started a club up at my Hofstra University called the Global Medical Brigades and we are looking for donations of toothpaste, children and adult toothbrushes, and sample size shampoo and soap. We distribute them in communities that have little to no access to medical care.

Any suggestions on how I can obtain these products?
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:06 PM
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See above thread.
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Ask for donations.

Go to places like Walgreens or the like, any place that sell sample sizes, and ask if they corporation would be willing to make a donation to a good cause. This might mean you have to work your way up the chain of command a bit as I doubt the low-level flunkies have the authority to do this, but it's one place to start.

Go to major hotel chains and do the same thing.
My first job out of college was for a nonprofit that did vocational counseling for Soviet refugees, and cleanliness was a big issue in employability (soap and laundry detergent were both strictly rationed in the Soviet Union at the time). Walgreens, in fact, made a very generous donation once we explained our purpose, which was to make up little toiletry kits for newly arrived families with a Russian-language leaflet explaining American attitudes on hygiene, cleanliness, washing clothes after every wearing, etc. It was a big hit.
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:26 PM
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zombie or no

get chummy with an Avon lady.

maybe get donations from students a buy sample sized products by the case.
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by johnpost View Post
zombie or no
please stop this
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:38 PM
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Thank you everyone! I know above it outlined a lot of options but I have not had much luck in soliciting from local companies. I will have to give Walgreens a try!
  #25  
Old 02-12-2020, 01:10 PM
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Piggy back on original post about sample donations


Hello All,
I volunteer with a local ( Eastern Kentucky)organization that provides help and food to homeless, extremely impoverished and disaster victims( fire, storms etc. ) We are also always looking for sample toiletries if any of you still have some to contribute or ideas and contacts to companies that may also be able to provide.
Just a general thought, even if you are thinking about donating somewhere closer to you:
Needs that are often forgotten
Socks
diapers
razors
soap
shampoo
toilet paper
feminine hygiene
lotion
tooth paste and brush
If you are able, these are such necessary items that are always needed.
  #26  
Old 02-12-2020, 01:27 PM
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Plz ignore post

Last edited by Kovitlac; 02-12-2020 at 01:29 PM.
  #27  
Old 02-12-2020, 01:44 PM
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It seems like a lot of hotels have switched from individual bottles of shampoo etc. to refillable dispensers, which is probably good from an environmental standpoint. But thanks for the reminder; I'll keep an eye out for those and see if my local homeless or DV shelters could use them.
  #28  
Old 02-12-2020, 03:08 PM
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I’d suggest when contacting companies to specifically ask if they may have samples for a product that is being discontinued or the packaging is being redesigned. That may trigger someone’s memory about a bunch of samples sitting around because the packaging changed from a blue design to a green for example, but it’s the exact same product.
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  #29  
Old 02-13-2020, 12:31 PM
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Check out the various discount stores in your area. I work at one and we regularly get this request.
  #30  
Old 02-13-2020, 12:47 PM
Dewey Finn is offline
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For the toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss, ask a dentist or two. Whenever I visit my dentist, they offer a sample-size toothpaste, toothbrush and dental floss. I assume they get boxes of this stuff regularly.
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