WDMCS Student Launches Sexual Assault Comfort Care Drive for Adults, Children (08/27/21)
Aug. 27, 2021 | Hunter Essmann is a Valley High School senior. He’s a member of the Tigers’ varsity football and baseball teams, and participates in Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), National Council on Youth Leadership (NCYL), and Silver Cord.
Essmann is also part of Boy Scout Troop 242, and starting Wednesday, Sept. 1, he’s asking for your help.
To showcase the development of leadership skills and impact the community through his Eagle Scout Service Project, Essmann has teamed up with UnityPoint Health to provide comfort care kits for sexual assault victims. These kits, created for both adults and children when they arrive to emergency departments at local hospitals, include personal care products like shampoos and soaps, toothbrushes and toothpastes, and deodorants and lotions, among other essentials.
“The kids and adults who are unfortunately victims of sexual assault, a lot of their belongings get taken. For kids, 90% are not allowed to go back to their homes and are put in foster care,” Essmann said. “I thought it would be a huge help if I made these comfort care kits, especially for the kids, because the bags I’m making are going to be the only things they’re allowed to keep.
“Not only that, but I want to set an example that sexual assault is not OK in any situation — ever.”
Overall, Essmann hopes to have 200 kits available for recipients, with 50 of the bags accounted for children and 150 for adults. UnityPoint Health will then provide the kits for individuals in the area, Essmann said.
How You Can Help
Running Sept. 1-24, Essmann has established donation bins in the front offices of all 13 schools that make up the West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) as well as in the front lobby of the Learning Resource Center.
Donations will be accepted during school hours at the following locations:
Clive Learning Academy—1600 73rd Street in Windsor Heights
Crestview School of Inquiry—8355 Franklin Avenue in Clive
Crossroads Park Elementary—1050 50th Street in West Des Moines
Fairmeadows Elementary—807 23rd Street in West Des Moines
Hillside Elementary—713 8th Street in West Des Moines
Jordan Creek Elementary—4105 Fuller Road in West Des Moines
Western Hills Elementary—600 39th Street in West Des Moines
Westridge Elementary—5500 EP True Parkway in West Des Moines
Indian Hills Junior High—9401 Indian Hills Drive in Clive
Stilwell Junior High—1601 Vine Street in West Des Moines
Valley Southwoods Freshman High School—625 S 35th Street in West Des Moines
Valley High School—3650 Woodland Avenue in West Des Moines
Walnut Creek Campus—1020 8th Street in West Des Moines
Learning Resource Center—3550 Mills Civic Parkway in West Des Moines
Additionally, supporters can also make a financial contribution to help purchase items for the kits by:
Cash or Check
Please make checks payable to “Hunter Essmann - Eagle Scout Project” and send to:
UnityPoint Health - Des Moines Foundation
1415 Woodland Avenue, Suite E-200
Des Moines, IA 50309
Please direct payment to “@ComfortCare-Eagle2021”
What You Can Donate
Full- and travel-sized of the following items are acceptable:
- Body lotion
- Coloring books
- Feminine hygiene products
- Hair clips
- Hair ties
- Lip balm
- Puzzle books
Photo courtesy of Tim Vorland Photography.