There are lots of reasons that people become homeless, and many of them are not the fault of the person. In these hard economic times, there has been a marked increase in homeless populations around the world, resulting in homeless services becoming stretched to the limit.
Unfortunately, these important social services rarely receive the sort of government support that they deserve, leaving organisations struggling to keep their doors open and relying on donations to survive. The following are some of things that are great to donate to your local homeless shelter.
Feeding masses of people 3 meals a day requires an enormous amount of food, so regardless of what it is, if you have extra food, donate it to the shelter. Spices are also a great item as it’ll help make otherwise boring meals a bit more interesting. If you are feeling extra generous, gift baskets are a great way to provide an extra treat to those who are struggling. The baskets will usually be broken up and distributed among a large group of people, this way lots of people will get a small but special treat.
Shelters usually have a large client base who cannot afford to buy new clothes, so go through your wardrobe and donate any clothing you don’t wear anymore. There is no better reason to purge last years clothes than to give them to people who need them more, and nothing can make a person feel better than a fresh set of clothes. Obviously, only send good quality clothing and wash it before donating it.
Sadly, there are probably entire families living on the streets in your city. This is a heartbreaking scenario, with the lack of government funding and not enough affordable housing being a big part of the problem. Donate toys that are no longer being used by your kids to the homeless shelter, as the workers there will be able to pass them onto kids who don’t have any.
Providing services to an ever growing community of homeless people is only made possible by volunteer labour. If you have any spare time in your week, think about volunteering an hour or two and helping out. Even one hour a week can make a massive difference and will be one of the most meaningful things you do in any one week.
Talk to your local homeless shelter about what it is they need help with, they may need someone with your exact skills right now!
It takes a lot of resources to provide for the basic needs of people staying at a homeless shelter, so it’s no surprise that there isn’t much money left over for books. Donate books you no longer need or organise a book drive in your area, and make sure there are lots of great titles at the shelter. There is no better escape than reading, so help those less fortunate think about something else for a few hours by giving the gift of books.
Homeless people are still people, and it’s shameful that so many wealthy countries don’t take the situation of homelessness seriously. Show you give a damn, and donate!