ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Sept. 10, 2015) -- The Aberdeen Proving Ground Installation SHARP program concluded its month-long Toiletries Drive for the Harford County, Maryland SARC (Sexual Assault/Spouse Abuse Resource Center, Inc.) by presenting a Humvee load's worth of collected items during a gathering near the SHARP Resource Center at Bldg. 4305 on APG North (Aberdeen), Sept. 2.
Tracy Marshall, Installation SHARP program manager, Shariese Demby, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, and Michcell Shoultz, SHARP Victim Advocate, turned the items over to Megan Paice, the community outreach coordinator for SARC.
Shoultz said the drive, which began July 20, was a post-wide effort.
"Every major organization has a SHARP representative so we were able to get the word out to every part of APG," she said.
Demby said more than 1,000 items were donated during the toiletries drive, which gets larger every year.
"People are passionate about helping because they know where it's going, and they know the need is real," she said.
The SHARP Team was assisted by Soldiers from A Battery, 3rd Air Defense Artillery (JLENS) and civilians from post organizations.
A vocal proponent for eliminating sexual harassment and assault wherever it may occur, APG Senior Commander Maj. Gen. Bruce T. Crawford led the ceremonial passing of the donated toiletries. He was joined by APG Garrison Commander Col. James E. Davis and APG Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey O. Adams.
"Sexual assault is a national problem that affects military and civilian communities alike," Crawford said during the installation's SHARP summit earlier this year.
"Combating sexual harassment and assault is the Army's number one priority. It is our inherent responsibility to work together to achieve a character, culture and a value system where these acts and behaviors are never tolerated. Our nation looks to us and expects us, as trusted professionals, to do what is right."
Donations from eleven Team APG commands consisted mainly of items like toothpaste, deodorant, tissues, soaps, toilet paper, razors, shampoo and conditioner.
Paice noted that the non-profit agency SARC provides 24/7 shelter to victims of domestic or sexual violence, child abuse and stalking. She said donations are a huge logistical boost for SARC and a morale builder for families.
"Just to be able to provide families with these kind of items is so special," she said. "It makes a huge difference to those who may have nothing with them when they arrive.
"Donations as well as volunteering is a big part of our being able to make SARC work. It's the heart of our organization and we wouldn't survive without it."