The Best Items to Donate to Really Help the Homeless: Underwear and Socks. Surprisingly, these are some of the items most in demand by people who use shelters for the homeless. Money is a good starting point. It gives shelters the flexibility to stock up on whatever items they need.
This can be an ever-changing list, so money allows them to buy exactly what they need, instead of accumulating donations they don't need. If you're short on time, this method is also the simplest, by far, since it requires little time and streamlines your tax deduction process if you decide to itemize it. In general, giving cash is a no-brainer. Underwear is another last-minute idea, but shelters are crying out for more underwear to give to their customers.
While its importance is obvious, you may not consider long underwear, in particular, to be an effective tool for fighting the winter cold. It's amazing how much hotter people with one more layer on their lower body feel. Don't hesitate to donate underwear in bulk in all sizes, so that anyone who walks through the doors of a shelter has a new pair. When you give one to a resident, you can keep them comfortable at night or give them some privacy, a surface to sit on, or a place for your pet to rest.
There's no way a donated blanket could go to waste. That's just one of the main reasons it's so important to provide shampoo to shelters. Not only does it help them clean themselves, but being freshly bathed can be a great confidence boost, as it is useful for job interviews or permanent housing. For those who are homeless, flashlights can be more than just a means of reading after turning off the lights.
According to the Downtown Los Angeles Women's Center, flashlights are often the only form of light that many people living on the street have at night, and for some people, a heavy flashlight can help protect them on the street. For many homeless people, keeping their belongings safe is a major concern. That's why many homeless shelters, such as the Center for Women's Center, offer backpacks to their residents. But if your local shelter doesn't collect backpacks, nonprofit organizations like Backpacks for the Street and programs like CityPak accept donations to help those in need.
Soap is an item that shelters always urgently need, according to a representative from L, A. Both liquid soap and bar soap, as long as they are not used and packaged, are welcome in many shelters to help keep their residents clean and comfortable. In the cold winter months, that means that essential items, such as gloves, are often in short supply, and many shelters are looking for additional pairs for their residents. That's why it's so important that those who donate to shelters provide feminine hygiene products; even if their local shelter doesn't pick them up, organizations like The Homeless Period Project and Helping Women Period rely on donors to help provide menstrual supplies to people in need.
We provide lifesaving services to more than 11,000 homeless and at-risk individuals and families each year. But the spirit of giving shouldn't just involve letting go of the things you don't want, a shelter isn't your dump. With numerous adults and children to care for, laundry detergent is in high demand in homeless shelters. Homeless shelters do more than just provide the essentials to their clients, when they are inside the shelter itself, they also provide them with what they need when they leave the shelter for a day.
If you want people who have difficulty finding permanent shelter to be able to access mental health services, addiction treatment and hot meals, in addition to providing them with a means to apply for employment, check with your local shelter and see if they accept portable chargers, a common request, According to the Center for Women's Center. Instead, try to find cases where you can make sacrifices to provide homeless shelters with what they really need right now, usually by buying new ones. Whether it's cold outside or not, some of the most important items you can donate to homeless shelters are personal care items. And while shelters specifically need new towels to serve their customers, many animal shelters are also open to donations of used towels.
An unknown obstacle for a shelter is how they will address guest cuts, bruises and other injuries. With the help of homeless advocates across the country, we've rounded up the best ways to help homeless shelters this holiday season. Since many people who are homeless are away for extended periods of time during the day, and many others have limited access to laundry facilities, socks are another necessary staple that shelters pass through quickly. If you're eager to help this holiday season, check the website of your local homeless shelter to see if they have an online wish list and consider donating new pillows.
And while the long-term goal may be to provide permanent shelter to those who don't have a place to live, supporting temporary shelters that offer food, beds and, in many cases, addiction treatment and mental health services, it can help countless people get through the holidays. Shelters always need extra help, and a few extra hours can go a long way in keeping your local shelter running smoothly, so that they can provide good assistance to those in need. . .