SULPHUR—Doris Row said her garage smells amazing because of the more than 8,000 bars of soap sitting in it currently.
Sulphur and Dickson Schools collected more than 8,000 bars of soap for Operation Christmas Child in October. The soap was then delivered to Doris Row, who collects items each year and, along with many helpers, packs shoeboxes to send overseas. Row said last year the drive accumulated 1,800 bars of soap and was surprised when she found out this year’s collections.
“I just started balling,” she said of her reaction to the number of bars collected. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Over the time of the drive, Sulphur collected 2,640 bars of soap and Dickson collected 5,444 bars of soap. Baylie Hughes, Dickson Student Council member and chair of the project, said they decided to set a high goal with this year’s drive. Hughes said the Dickson Student Council set a goal of collecting 5,000 bars of soap, a huge increase from the previous year.
“We got way more than we thought we’d get,” Hughes said. “We set a high goal and we decided if we don’t get it that’s OK but we got our goal and even more.
“We were able to do it all together.”
The groups came together to announce the total tally of soap on Friday at the high school football game in Suphur. Hughes said seeing which school could collect more soap was certainly a driving force for the drive, along with helping provide for those in need.

“It’s very uniting,” she said of the drive. “It shows how we are as a school and community and how together we are.”

“You can see the fire in their eyes,” Janet Carter, Sulphur Student Council advisor, said of the students. “They want to be the one to get that.”

Carter said in Sulphur the project is a joint effort, with the school and the Key Club coming together to collect the soap. She said the project provides a lot of perspective for the students, as it allows them to see the impact a single bar of soap can make on a person’s life.

“It’s eye opening for them,” Carter said. “To know something as small as a bar of soap can make such a difference.

“It’s monumental to some.”

Hughes said getting the drive going was initially difficult, with organizing all the specific details and promoting the drive presenting an early struggle. Once they found their footing, and several community businesses donated and helped get word of the drive out, Hughes said the drive in Dickson took off.

“It was really amazing to see,” she said. “It was tough at first getting the word out and everything. But it just felt so complete and to come together as a community and help so many people feels amazing.”

Dickson Student Council advisor Micki Ruynan said the drive is helpful not only to the families that are impacted by the soap, but for the students who gain some insight into the lives of others.

“We take for granted to be clean and have clean things and to be able to clean ourselves,” she said. “A single bar of soap is so important and can impact families and individuals so much.”

“It’s a huge gift. We’re so honored to be a part of it.”

Row said the groups collected enough soap that each shoebox can get two bars of soap. All the extra soap will also be sent so it can be distributed to those in need, as well. Hughes said while Dickson had a successful year in the drive, they’ve already began thinking about next year and how they can continue to provide for those in need and clean the world, one bar of soap at a time.

“It’s amazing such a small thing can make such an impact on lives,” she said. “To know it (a bar of soap) means so much to them it’s just amazing.”