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DeSoto County is using soap to let everyone know they count

The DeSoto County Board of Supervisors have partnered with Buff City Soap to encourage people to fill out the Census with donated soap.
Credit: WATN

SOUTHAVEN, Miss — Krista Pennie Myers is the franchise owner of Buff City Soap in Southaven. She reached out to DeSoto County Resource Director Christie Barclay for help donating soap remnants.  "These are thin pieces of soap or the ends of our soap loafs that we can't sell," said Penne-Myers. "I wanted to make sure they went to people who might not otherwise have access to quality soap."

"While researching organizations, a co-worker suggested donating the soap to Sacred Heart Food Pantry because it serves a lot of people who have trouble making ends meet," said Barclay. 

The donations serve two purposes. The facility in Walls is located in an area where response to the Census is low.  A message attached to each piece of soap reads "You count to Buff City Soap and DeSoto County: Make sure you count in the Census." The message includes the three ways you can fill out the Census: online at my2020Census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020, or by mailing the Census form.

Credit: Christie Barclay
Credit: Christie Barclay
Credit: Christie Barclay

"Part of my job as Community Resource Director is to encourage people to fill out the Census. The county could lose $50,000 over 10 years for each person not counted," said Barclay. "If the Census were to end today, the county would lose $2.9 Billion over 10 years. That's $2.9 Billion less for schools, fire departments, roads, food stamps, and health clinics."

"When businesses step up and join forces with the county, the partnerships can make a lasting impact," said District 4 Supervisor Lee Caldwell. "Buff City Soap in Southaven opened less than a year ago and it’s wonderful how they are reaching out to give back to the community."

"The people of DeSoto County have been very welcoming and supportive, even with all the COVID restrictions. This was a way to say thanks to the community," said Pennie Myers.

The urgency to get out the count intensified when the Census Bureau announced earlier this month that it moved up the data collection deadline. The deadline is now September 30 instead of October 31.  

DeSoto County amped up its efforts to get out the count with a friendly competition with Madison County.  The Administrator of the county with the highest Census self-response rate will treat their colleague to a meal with all of the trimmings.

An accurate count in the Census is important because it can impact the number of representatives we have in the United States Congress, millions of dollars in general and emergency federal funds, and much more.

Buff City Soap and DeSoto County plan on continuing the partnership. Buff City Soap is located at 125 Goodman Rd W Suite E, Southaven, MS 38671. 

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