SALT LAKE CITY — They had hoped to gather enough supplies for 150 hygiene kits to donate to the Road Home shelter.
Laurel Christensen asked the 3,900 women on Friday night at Time Out for Women to bring any extra body wash and other toiletries back Saturday morning as they were short a few supplies.
In the end, about 720 kits were assembled.
It was a record for the Deseret Book-sponsored event, which has been to 18 cities on the 2010 Infinite Hope tour.
Friends Laura Holk, Danielle Bigelow and Karina Taylor, all mothers from South Jordan, Utah, helped put together the kits, which admittedly wasn't too difficult.
The line of women filled clear plastic bags with washcloths, small bottles of shampoo, toothbrushes, razors and other items.
"It helps to give back," said Taylor, especially since they all had enjoyed the two-day event that included different presenters and musicians.
"For me, it helps me as a mom to start fresh" with new ideas, Holt said of the event.
During the event they heard a testimony of the power of a single hygiene kit, parenting tips, presentations on the power of the Atonement, and suggestions for seeing good days.
The value of one hygiene kit
When Mariama Kallon was fleeing the rebels in Sierra Leon, she grabbed her scriptures and the plastic bag with her hygiene kit in it.
She still has parts of the kit.
"It blessed the lives of over 25 women in over three weeks," Kallon said of their time in the refugee camp. The women would line up, and she would give them each a pinch of toothpaste. They used the bars of soap sparingly to make them last.
They didn't use the shampoo — it wasn't labeled and they didn't know what it was.
Kallon had lost family members during the war and ended up with friends who were members of the church. For some of the discussions, she walked three miles to the chapel.
She later served a mission at Temple Square. She brought her scriptures, both changes of clothes that she had and the hygiene kit when she entered the MTC.
Later she was reunited with her little sister and nephew when a Lehi, Utah, family brought them to the United States, she said during her at times emotional presentation of her conversion and the promises that were fulfilled to her.
"Heavenly Father loves each and everyone one of his children," Kallon said.
Parenting in the trenches
Author Linda Eyre and her daughter, Shawni Eyre Pothier, gave five tips for helping mothers.
First, be your own best kind of mom.
"We don't always get what we want," Pothier said. Children don't always give a reaction that parents expect or that other children do.
"Be careful about guilt," Eyre warned. "Everyone has different kids and different packages."
Second, have an infrastructure.
The Eyre family had a mission statement that they eventually boiled down to three words: "Broaden and Contribute." Pothier family's mission statement is "Learn, work, serve, respect."
Third, give ownership.
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