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PR- 122-08
April 5, 2008


Mayor Calls on New Yorkers to Create Drives to Collect Toiletries to Benefit Victims of Domestic Violence in New York and Young Women in Southern Africa

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today launched the ‘Products of Hope’ Drive, a citywide collection of basic toiletry products for victims of domestic violence in New York and young women in southern Africa that will culminate in the City’s first annual Young Women’s Volunteer Summit on Saturday April 26, 2008.  New York City will host the Young Women’s Volunteer Summit as part of Youth Service America’s Global Youth Service Day, the largest volunteer event in the world. The summit will provide young New Yorkers with the opportunity to participate in educational workshops and service activities benefiting women throughout the City and around the world. The summit and product drive are spearheaded by the NYC Commission on Women’s Issues, the Mayor’s Volunteer Center of NYC, the non-profit organization Children for Children and CosmoGIRL! magazine, in partnership with the City University of New York.

“By encouraging volunteerism and creating new opportunities for our youth, we are inspiring a new generation of New Yorkers who will keep our communities strong and positively impact women both in New York and around the world,” said Mayor Bloomberg.

The ‘Products of Hope’ drive aims to collect thousands of pounds of toiletry goods and feminine products that will be assembled into kits by the 1,000 New York City young people between 12 and 18 years old expected to participate in the Volunteer Summit.  Once the toiletry kits are made by the students they will be donated to domestic violence shelters in New York where victims often arrive without basic necessities. Kits will also go to young women in southern Africa through the Tampax and Always ‘Protecting Futures’ initiative, which provides a comprehensive health and hygiene education program. Often girls in this region miss up to four days of school each month because they lack basic sanitary protection or resources. The toiletry kits will also include razors and cans of shaving cream donated by Gillette.

“We are happy to be a part of an event that allows our City’s youth the opportunity to learn as well as speak about challenging issues that affect women in their own lives and in their communities,” said Anne Sutherland Fuchs, Chair of the NYC Commission on Women’s Issues.

“Volunteering is a great way to lend a helping hand to fellow New Yorkers while taking an active role in making the greatest city in the world even greater,” said Nazli Parvizi, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, which oversees the Mayor’s Volunteer Center.  

“I think volunteering makes a difference because kids can help people who they do not even know. I now realize that I can make a difference and can inspire others to help out,” said youth volunteer and 8th grade student from I.S. 286, Abeer Alziadi.

The City is encouraging New Yorkers to create collection drives in their schools and companies.  Those who cannot create their own collection sites but are interested in donating basic toiletry goods can visit the drop-off center hosted by Children for Children, located at 6 East 43rd Street at Fifth Avenue, 25th Floor, New York, NY, 10017.

“New York City and Children for Children recognize that our young people are not only our leaders of tomorrow; they are valuable assets to our local and global communities today,” said Maggie Jones, Executive Director of Children for Children.   “Through education and action, young women can gain the tools they need to make a difference at home and around the world.”

“We are thrilled to have Tampax and Always involved with the Products of Hope collection drive,” said Michelle Vaeth, Program Director for Protecting Futures. “The donation of these types of products to the Protecting Futures program will help ensure that many of these girls have a better chance at an education.”

In addition to assembling toiletry kits from donated products, participants of the Young Women’s Volunteer Summit will engage in other service activities including counting and re-packaging recycled cell phones collected through the New York City Department of Sanitation’s “Spring Cleaning” events to benefit the Verizon Wireless HopeLine program for victims of domestic violence.

CosmoGIRL! always encourages young women to be leaders in their own lives,” says CosmoGIRL! Editor-in-Chief, Susan Schulz. “We are honored to be a part of the NYC Young Women's Summit, and we wholeheartedly support its focus on helping girls take action to make a difference in the world.”

For more information on attending or sponsoring the NYC Young Women’s Volunteer Summit, or to learn more about how you can create a product drive in your school, company, or community please call 311 or visit


Stu Loeser/ Evelyn Erskine   (212) 788-2958

Sara Garlick (Children for Children)   (212) 850-4172

Corinne Kotler (CosmoGIRL!)   (212) 649-2583

Heather Jackson (Protecting Futures)   (212) 468-3161

Teresa Gonzalez   (Community Affairs Unit)
(212) 788-7406

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