Below is a list of items needed by homeless people. More than likely, you have some of these items in your closet that you no longer use, but would make a big difference in the life of someone in need.
1. Sleeping bags: Those old sleeping bags that your kids no longer use will provide a layer of warmth to the homeless who sleep out in the elements.
2. Shoes: Gently used boots or tennis shoes are always needed by the homeless. As they walk most everywhere, their shoes wear out quickly.
3. Socks: Many homeless people own only one or two pairs of socks. In the winter, it is helpful to wear multiple layers of socks to keep their feet warm. If you have packages of socks that you haven’t opened yet, consider donating them. Or just pick up a package next time you’re out looking for stocking stuffers for your own family.
4. Toiletries: If you travel frequently, consider collecting the complimentary toiletries in hotel rooms to give to the homeless. Or, if you have a few extras stocked in your bathroom cabinet, donate a few of the following items: toothbrushes, toothpaste, deoderant, razors, shaving cream, feminine products or even just a few bars of soap. Hygiene is important to everyone.
5. Hats/Scarves/Gloves: Anything that can help stave off the cold.
6. Jackets: Look in your closet. More than likely, you have several winter coats in there that you haven’t worn in years. If you have kids, don’t forget to look in their closet. Remember, children can be homeless, too. If you have rain ponchos that you bought for your trip to Disney, but haven’t used them in five years, donate those too. It’s easier to stay warmer if you’re not wet.
7. Backpacks: As homeless people must carry their possessions around with them all the time, a good backpack is important.
8. Toilet Paper: Believe it or not, sometimes it’s hard for a homeless person to find a place to go to the bathroom. Toilet paper is something most people don’t think about, and it is rarely donated, but is asked for frequently by the homeless.
9. Clothing: Jeans, sweatpants, sweaters, anything the homeless can layer to keep warm.
10. Hand held can-openers: If you have two or three of these in your kitchen drawer, donate a clean one.
Please make it a point to take any donations specifically to a homeless shelter so that you can help the homeless directly. If you don’t know where the homeless shelter is, call a local church and ask them. Most churches are active in helping out with homeless shelters.