A local charity dedicated to providing hygiene products to those in need is hosting an online Indigenous art auction.

Soap for Hope recycles gently used soap and hygiene products from hotels around B.C. and Alberta and redistributes them across both provinces.

Last year alone the program diverted just shy of 90,000 pounds of product and packaging from landfills.

“It’s great to see not only a reduced waste but hotels stepping up to take care of their communities and then volunteers stepping in to support that process and get the need to their neighbours,” says project coordinator Kara Udell.

Recently the group has branched into helping Indigenous communities across B.C. and Alberta by providing needed hygiene products. The new partnerships have also led to an online fundraiser featuring artists from around Canada.

“So this digital auction offers an opportunity for artists from the nations that we serve and from across B.C. to showcase their art and to use their craft to contribute to their community and to take care of their neighbours,” says Udell.

So much artwork came flowing in from across the country to the Soap for Hope’s Victoria office that its walls are now a makeshift gallery.

“Every single piece of art that they have donated has been wonderful. There’s such a vast array of different things that everyone can come and bid on,” says team member and auction organizer Danijela Brkovic.

Ontario artist Meredith Combs donated six different pieces to the auction. Combs normally gives some of the proceeds from her artwork each year to indigenous causes, but due to COVID-19, money was running short. Soap for Hope provided the perfect alternative.

“When this opportunity presented itself I was like well I have lots of art, I have no money right now but I can do my annual donation to an indigenous cause through Soap for Hope,” says Combs via Skype.

The online auction runs until August 15th. Head to Soap for Hope’s Facebook page for more information.

Cole Sorenson