After volunteering in Frisco ISD and seeing firsthand the need among students, Elizabeth Watkins founded Refresh Frisco to provide hygiene products to students.Watkins also spent time volunteering at Frisco Family Services. There, she said she saw even further that needs in the community went beyond food.

“That’s what helped me think about, ‘What are the kids doing who don’t have soap, that don’t have shampoo, that can’t afford tampons or pads? Where are they getting that assistance?’” Watkins said.

Refresh Frisco officially sent out its first packages of hygiene products to students in November 2019. These quarterly distributions are typically sent out in August, November, February and May, according to organization officials.

Since that first school year when Refresh Frisco served 319 students, the number of students receiving hygiene products has quadrupled, officials said. Refresh Frisco ended the 2021-22 school year having served 1,400 students, with 1,100 in Frisco and 300 in Little Elm, which began receiving Refresh services in 2021.This number is expected to grow, according to Susie Fogerson, a Refresh Frisco Advisory Council member. She said the number of students in need of help is 13% of FISD’s enrollment.

“When you crunch that number, that’s 8,500 kids,” Fogerson said.

While the nonprofit has not had to turn away any students, there are some problems with acquiring products because of inflation, Watkins said.

“A lot of stores, such as Walmart, cap what you can buy,” said Anja Newbury, Refresh Frisco’s operations and inventory manager.

“We can buy maybe five or 12 of something, but Anja will need 1,400,” Watkins added.

Refresh Frisco provides complete privacy for the students served. FISD officials assist the nonprofit in finding students in need and also refrains from providing student names—the district instead gives student ID numbers.“Lots of studies have shown that when kids feel good about themselves on the outside, it helps build their confidence and helps them feel good about themselves on the inside,” Watkins said. “Every kid deserves ... to feel clean.”

Refresh Frisco

124 Rose Lane, Ste. 405, Entrance 2, Frisco