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Fox Chapel

Dorseyville student needs help with charity drive

| Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, 9:06 p.m.
Isabella Liberto, 14, holds one of her collection boxes at Cooper-Siegel Library in Fox Chapel. Isabella is accepting hygiene items including deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and feminine products that she will package and give to Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh for distribution.
Isabella Liberto, 14, holds one of her collection boxes at Cooper-Siegel Library in Fox Chapel. Isabella is accepting hygiene items including deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and feminine products that she will package and give to Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh for distribution.

Ask Dorseyville Middle School student Isabella Liberto for insight about running a charity drive, and she'll tell you it's a lot more work than you might originally think.

Isabella, 14, started a drive in late December to collect personal hygiene items to be packaged and distributed to those in need in the Pittsburgh area. She took on the project as part of the Catholic sacrament of confirmation.

“We started about a month ago … and it's been a lot of work,” Isabella said. “We have had to hang posters around places, do a lot of research, get authorization for drop boxes and just find out what the needs are.”

She and her mother called around to different charities and asked what items were needed most. Through Feb. 25, Isabella is collecting items such as deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, disposable razors and shaving cream, and feminine hygiene products.

“It's things that a lot of people need. It's something you wouldn't think about, though, because it's so common to most people and people take it for granted,” Isabella said. “It really boosts people's self esteem and it's really good for their basic health.”

She set up drop-off boxes at Our Lady of Victory Church in Springdale Township and the Cooper-Siegel Library in Fox Chapel. Her goal is to make at least a dozen packages to give to Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh for distribution. The charity asked her to make the packages gender-specific.

“Each of these things that we take for granted — toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo — that Isabella is collecting for our clients, becomes a human connection and a way to say someone cares about you,” said Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh Executive Director Susan Rauscher.

This is her first charity drive, but Isabella said it's not going to be her last. Next year, she hopes to recruit friends to help.

“I am already thinking about next year and maybe doing a warming station drive where we can make scarves and items like that,” she said.

Christine Manganas is a freelance writer.

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