Toiletry drive to benefit the Harold Robinson Foundation

Nicole Rich ’21 organized the event and has worked closely with the organization in the past.

Karen Wu

Nicole Rich ’21 organized a toiletry drive through Community Council for the Harold Robinson Foundation (HRF), a nonprofit that supports disadvantaged children in South Los Angeles.

“I am excited to say that while a few [Harvard-Westlake] students have volunteered at retreats, this is the first all community involvement event [Harvard-Westlake] has had with the [HRF],” Rich said.

The toiletry drive will benefit the Harold Robinson Foundation.

According to the HRF’s website, their organization has served over 12,000 children. Prior to the pandemic, the HRF organized weekend retreats at Camp Ubuntu for underprivileged children, where Rich volunteered. The programming at the retreats included hip hop, percussion music, outdoor education, ropes courses, yoga, arts and crafts, writing and astronomy.

“The weekend retreats are amazing. The kids are so kind, excited and grateful to be there,” Rich said.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic began , the HRF also hosted an annual fundraiser called Pedal on the Pier, where over 500 bicycle riders would participate in a relay-style competition in order to raise money for the Watts Community.

The HRF is helping disadvantaged communities during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing food distribution, virtual mentorship and virtual activities such as yoga, gardening, dance and art.

“Due to COVID-19, I haven’t been able to engage with the [HRF] through weekend retreats like I used to,” Rich said. “I was still determined to help the many in-need families as much as possible, even if it was in a new kind of way.”

Rich said organizing a charity drive during the COVID-19 pandemic was challenging.

Along with organizing the toiletry drive, Rich recently collected school supplies for the HRF. Rich said organizing donation drives amidst the COVID-19 pandemic challenged her.

“Spreading the word [about community service drives] is really hard because many people often scroll through their emails quickly or forget which day the drives happen,” Rich said.

The donation buckets for the drive were out in front of Taper Gym March 6, March 11 and March 12. Rich said that while the first day of the drive was not that successful, by the end of the drive, three quarters of one of the buckets was filled, while the rest were left empty.

“I’m just very grateful [Harvard-Westlake] helped support the charity I am so fond of,” Rich said.

If students are interested in getting involved with the HRF, they can reach out to Rich at [email protected] or visit the HRF website at