Bunker Hill Middle School sixth-grader Lily Caldiero has turned her hobby of soap making into a charitable cause benefitting frontline workers.
“I know that because of the pandemic, people in health care work so hard to keep us safe,” Caldiero said. “I really just wanted to give back.”
Caldiero began making soaps after her cousin in Long Island, New York told her about bath scrubs she was creating. Inspired by her cousin, Caldiero is now making and selling her own handmade soaps to raise money for different hospitals in New Jersey. Her first donation is slated to be given to Virtua’s Radiology Department in Voorhees.
Once the donations have come together, they will be used to purchase snacks, treats or meals for the hospital workers.
“My best friend’s mom works there and I know that she works really hard,” Caldiero said.
The soaps come in many different scents from orange creamsicle and sugar cookie to lemon and lavender. They are all made with either a goat milk or buttermilk base and are colored using make-up powder. She is also looking forward to creating new scents for summer, including one she plans to name “sunset.”
“My favorite soap is sugar cookie because I love cookies and I love the scent of it,” Caldiero said. “The bars are all in their own kind of individual shape.”
So far, Caldiero has sold more than a dozen bars for $8 apiece. She has also received more than $100 in donations. Soap orders can be made through Facebook at www.facebook.com/lilcsoaps or sent to email@example.com. Buyers living in Washington Township will be able to have the soaps dropped off to them; any buyers living further away will be able to receive the soaps on the mail.
This is not the first time Caldiero has given back to a community she is grateful for. In 2016, she and other neighborhood kids created an iced tea and lemonade stand. They used the proceeds from the stand to buy treats and toys for animals at the Gloucester County Animal shelter.
“We happen to have a lot of dogs that got loose in our development that year and they always happen to come to the children playing in the development,” said Caldieros’ mother, Donna. “So they bought treats and toys. There is a donation list on (the shelter’s) website and we went on there and bought a bunch of things and then dropped them off.”
Caldiero is hopeful that her soap making will continue long enough for her to make generous donations to multiple hospitals.
“I don’t know how long I will be making them, but hopefully for a while,” Caldiero said. “I would like to donate to a lot of hospitals. I know a lot of people who work in healthcare.”