Apart from the shelter for homeless people, people who stay in homeless shelters need basic items to keep body and soul together.
Most people who are homeless may not have the means to feed, clothe, or take care of themselves hence the need to look for ways to get what they need.
Donating to a homeless shelter is a generous and compassionate way to help those in need, and sometimes it can be confusing to know what exactly to donate.
This is why it is advisable to contact the homeless shelter beforehand to inquire about their specific needs and any restrictions they may have on donations.
Of course, monetary donations are also appreciated as they give homeless shelters the free hand to purchase the items they need most.
So also, volunteering your time can be a valuable contribution, as shelters often rely on volunteers to help with various tasks and services – this can also count as donations.
If you are planning to donate items to homeless shelters, and you don’t know what items you feel will be highly needed, you may want to continue reading this article.
Best Items to Donate to a Homeless Shelter
When we talk about non-perishable foods we are talking of canned vegetables, canned fruits, rice, pasta, canned soups, canned beans, peanut butter, cereal, oatmeal, and canned tuna or chicken.
Trust me, most homeless shelters appreciate it when they get this type of donation because they can easily store the excess for future use.
Packs of Bottled Water
The importance of water cannot be undermined because they are essential for hydration, especially during the hot weather. Water also helps with the absorption of important nutrients from your food which also play a role in keeping people healthy.
You don’t need to buy designer clothes. All you need are clean, gently used, or new clothing items, and trust me they will be greatly appreciated.
Note that clothes may be really appreciated during winter hence you should focus on practical, weather-appropriate clothing, including coats, jackets, hats, gloves, socks, and underwear. You may also consider donating new underwear and socks.
Personal Hygiene Products
Toothbrush, toothpaste, a bar of soap, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, shave gel, deodorant, comb, razor, lip balm, facecloth, bandages, hand sanitizer, tissues, nail clippers, hair ties, and feminine hygiene products (tampons and pads) and more are some of the personal hygiene products you should consider donating to homeless shelters.
Blankets and Sleeping Bags
People in homeless shelters always find blankets and sleeping bags highly useful, and most people who donate items to homeless shelters usually add blankets, and sleeping bags to whatever they are donating.
Towels and Washcloths
Washcloths are the smallest bath towel option, and they are commonly used to wash and dry your face outside of the shower. They also work well to cleanse and exfoliate your body while in the shower.
These items are considered essential for homeless shelters because homeless individuals usually may not have access to clean bathing facilities, and they need to maintain their personal hygiene.
Backpacks or Tote Bags
The fact that homeless shelters are like transit homes means anything that will help them carry their personal belongings from one place to another will be highly appreciated. Interestingly, you don’t have to purchase new backpacks or tote bags, used ones can also suffice.
First Aid Kits, and Supplies
You may want to consider donating first aid kits, and supplies to homeless shelters. Trust me, first aid kits, and supplies will be appreciated by homeless shelters.
A first aid kit is a box, bag or pack that holds supplies used to treat minor injuries including cuts, scrapes, burns, bruises, and sprains.
More elaborate first aid kits can also include survival supplies, life-saving emergency supplies, or convenience items like bug sting wipes or cold and flu medicines.
Disposable Plates and Utensils
Disposable plates and utensils are yet other items you may want to consider donating to homeless shelters. This is so because disposable plates and utensils make it easier for individuals to eat when shelter facilities may not have access to regular dishware.
In case you don’t have the capacity to carry bulky goods, and you want to donate items to a homeless shelter, you may want to consider donating gift cards.
A gift card is a form of payment that can be used to make purchases at retail stores, gas stations, restaurants, and other locations.
You load money onto the card, which the gift card’s recipient in the homeless shelter can then spend at accepted locations.
It could be gift cards to grocery stores, fast food restaurants, public transportation, or a gift card that can give individuals the flexibility to meet their specific needs.
You cannot rule out the fact that there may be parents with babies in homeless shelters. Hence, you may want to consider donating baby supplies to homeless shelters.
Trust me, baby supplies such as clothing, swaddling blankets, diapers, a crib or co-sleeper, mattress pad, sheets, a baby sling, baby food (starting around four months old), cleansers to bathe their baby, and books and educational materials will be greatly appreciated by parents in homeless shelters.
Generators and Batteries
Usually, homeless shelters are not connected to an electric grid hence they usually rely on alternative power supplies. For that reason, you may want to consider donating generators and batteries to homeless shelters.
Battery-operated devices such as flashlights or radios require regular change of batteries hence, they will be greatly appreciated.
Toys and Games
Enjoying childhood includes having and playing with toys and games. So, if the homeless shelter you want to make a donation to serves children, you may consider donating toys and games that can provide comfort and entertainment for the kids.
Pet supplies are items that you should consider donating to homeless shelters especially if you have confirmed that the homeless shelters also accommodate people with pets.
You may want to consider donating pet supplies such as pet toys, pet food, pet treats, pet clothing, pet grooming, pet travel supplies, pet bowls and feeders, pet beds, mats and tents, pet vitamins and supplements, pet collars, leashes and harness, and more.
Trust me, the managers of homeless shelters will appreciate the donation of cleaning supplies because homeless shelters usually require cleaning supplies to maintain a safe and sanitary environment.
You should consider donating all-purpose cleaners, disinfectant wipes, brooms, mops, vacuum cleaners, microfiber cloths, trash bags, toilet bowl cleaners, window cleaners, and laundry detergent.