Things Other Than Cash Donations That Homeless Shelters Can Use
If you have always wanted to help support homeless shelters, but you prefer to do it in a way other than donating money, here are other ways and ideas you can use to support the homeless shelters that serve your local community.
Since homeless shelters provide temporary housing for people that do not have homes of their own, there is always a need for linens. Bed sheets, blankets, bath towels, face towels and washcloths. Homeless shelters may also have a demand for kitchen towels and other types of linen to help keep their facility clean.
In many cases, the people seeking refuge at homeless shelters may have a very limited wardrobe. A donation of clothing provides the homeless shelter you are helping to support the ability to offer their residents a clean shirt or outfit if they need one. Some homeless shelters are only available to offer overnight accommodations, so other clothing items that they could use include warm coats and jackets, gloves, mittens, scarves and hats so when their residents leave for the day, they have adequate clothing to keep them warm.
Personal Care Items
Homeless shelters help people get back on their feet after a difficult time in life. One of the best ways for them to help restore dignity to their residents is by helping them get cleaned up. For this reason, there is always a need for personal care items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, shaving items, deodorant, feminine care products, portable first-aid kits, nail clippers, baby wipes, hair brush, combs and some types of over the counter medications. While these items we may take for granted in our own home, these are things that many homeless people do not own. These items should be left in their original packaging to assure they have not been tampered with.
According to statistics, more than 3 million people in the United States experience homelessness every year. If you are able to volunteer time to helping the homeless, this is something that is humbling. Depending on where you live, you might volunteer directly at the homeless shelter or you might hit the streets and help deliver hot meals to those who are reluctant to seek shelter for whatever their personal reasons might be. Since some shelters are gender-specific, they might not want to be split from their spouse or significant other so this is an issue.
Keep in mind that any charity you are able to give could be the catalyst for someone to really turn their lives around, so don't be afraid to give!