During the holidays there are many ways to be charitable, including donating to drives that collect food, items, and toys for the homeless. While most of us know that non-perishable food (namely canned food) is needed, there are other items that are super important that don’t get as much press. Here are some other items besides food that you can donate:
Gift Cards Instead of Physical Toys – You may be surprised that many shelters request gift cards instead of toy donations. This way they’re able to shop for the specific people they are serving rather than trying to fit random toys with specific kids.
Clothing in Larger Sizes – XL and XXL sizes aren’t donated nearly as much as small through large. This leaves a group of people not able to benefit from well-meaning donations.
Blankets and New Socks – Especially during fall and winter, blankets are much needed at homeless shelters, and new socks that can be given out to the homeless are also key for staying warm during the holidays.
Larger Diapers, Sized 2-4+ – Most diapers donated are for infants and babies, leaving families of toddlers not able to benefit from donations. Consider donating larger diapers for the holidays, since this is a big expense for families in need.
Toilet Paper – This item isn’t the first thing to come to most people’s minds when they think of holiday donations, but shelters can go through as much as 20 rolls a day. In addition to your food donations, check with your local shelter to see if they are need of toilet paper and other toiletry staples.
Give a Variety of Food Items – Shelters need non-perishable food items for the holidays, but that doesn’t mean all canned soup. If you’re donating, give a variety of different types of canned, jarred and packaged food, pasta, rice and other non-perishable items that a family can use during the season.