It’s the season of giving — or at least a season when there are more triggers for generosity — the holiday spirit coupled with the onset of the cold weather months in much of the US. Canned goods, turkeys, toy trucks and coats are filling up bins around the country — all aimed at helping the less fortunate. But it’s not always a coat and soup the homeless and others need. Their lives are, despite circumstances, a lot like yours and little things matter. The #1 thing that people need is simple and inexpensive, often overlooked while people think of bigger ticket items or food.
Homeless shelters hope you’ll consider donating these items this holiday (and beyond):
- Socks — socks are often the first casualty of the homeless life lived too much on one’s feet
- Shoes — ditto the shoes. Stats differ, but a safe average range of sizes is 9-11 for men, 6-8 for women
- Blankets — shelters don’t always have enough, and neither do people outside
- Sleeping bags, mats — ditto again
- Personal care goods — from toothpaste and toothbrushes to feminine care products to soap, deodorant, Band-Aids and nail clippers
- Towels — every shelter needs more towels
- Reading glasses — not just drugstore magnifying glasses, but old prescription glasses can help. The frames, usually the most expensive part, can be filled with new lenses
- Clothes –sweaters, coats, whatever you don’t wear — or don’t wear a lot.
You can find a homeless shelter that needs donations at the HOMELESS SHELTER DIRECTORY