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Thu Jan 31, 2013, 03:37 PM

Thing to think about when wanting to donate to the homeless...

I have posted this before but though with the subject rising again, to re-post it.



Something that is a necessity is a good size pack. When you are out there, it is your home. It is something that is in short supply as well. So if you have a school pack that is the kind a high school kid would carry and no longer using it, please donate it. Even a rolling suitcase is useful. Rolling backpacks are a dream come true! And if you have a messenger bag that you donít use, please donate it, that is great for carrying paperwork in. Believe me, when you are homeless, you have a lot of paperwork you need to try (the big word) and keep with you.

Another thing is dark color blankets. They are used all year long. The dark color works as camouflage at night while one sleeps. So, light or heavy in weight, if they are dark the homeless need it! If you have a dark sleeping bag you donít want anymore, it would be great to. The street is not very soft.

Eye glasses. So many could use reading glass. Prescription glass as well. Many places have an eye glass drop off to help people that cannot afford them. Sun glasses, all year around need. One must protect from the sun and from the wind. So if you see some cheap reading glasses at one of those $1 shops, pick a couple up to donate to your local shelter to give out, the sunglasses too! You would not believe how much they are needed!

Pens and paper. I know that sounds odd. But when you are trying to find work or take down information to remember later, you need to have something to write on and with. Folders with pockets are great to. You will not believe how much paperwork is involved when you are in poverty and worse. Sometimes it feels like a full time office job just to get help.

Something some may see as odd is Batteries. They are needed for flashlights and, for the lucky few, radios. The flashlights are a necessity, but the radio can be a life saver in and before foul weather. Information is vital when on the street.

Besides the usual cloths like jeans (jeans are a major thing for women and men) everyday shoes, and t-shirt (sweat shirt and coats in winter), the homeless also need cloths for getting work. Believe it or not there are people out there that are in need of black or khaki slacks, dress shoes, blouses/ white dress shirts, and everything else one need to dress for work are a must have to get a job. The dress codes for department stores, call centers, etc. are what is needed on top of the usual needed cloths. Oh, and underwear! For both sexes (bras are an extreme luxury for a homeless woman and you canít look nice without one). You would not believe how little underwear can be found at the places that help with giving out cloths to the homeless. Socks and Rain gear is a big plus too!

Wallets, glasses cases and phone cases is something that are very useful. The government phones do not come with holders and that makes it hard to take care of them. Those phones are your only way to reach help in an emergency and get contacted for a possible job. The phone holders, glasses cases and wallets make it easier to keep your ID, food cards (many food banks that help with homeless food packs use an ID card and you also need to keep your food stamp card safe) as well as many other needed cards in and safe. And the glasses cases, of course, to keep oneís glasses safe. If you have any that you donít use anymore, please donate them. They will not go unwanted!

Another thing is Maxis and Tampons. Yes, the women need them. But did you know that the guys will carry Maxisí as part of a makeshift first aid kit? Things to treat wounds are big. So is hygiene in general. Stuff like travel size shampoos and soaps, even Foot Powder is in high need. And another big one that is asked for at walk-in centers and shelters is toothpaste and toothbrushes. Toilet paper is street currency. Someone has extra can of spaghetti that is worth one roll of TP. So basically if one needs it to keep healthy and clean, it is needed.

Something else that is also worth its weight in gold are water bottles. The kind that you can fill in a park bathroom or drinking fountain. Having water is something that is very important, there had been many a death due to not having water to drink out there. I remember seeing many homeless get taken away in an ambulance due to being dehydrated. Eating utensils are a nice thought too! Spoon, fork and knife is something that are so nice to have. And a can opener! Oh, I had been given cans of food but had no way to open it.

The last thing many donít think of is pet food and leashes. Thatís right, pet food and leashes. Many homeless have dogs, some even have cats. They are, for many, what is left of their family. The animals watch them and they watch out for the dog or cat. It is such an attachment that those that do have pets will not go to shelters due to the no pets allowed rule at many. It is that important, the pet is their family, what is left of love. I have seen the attachment so strong that if something happens to that pet, the owner will not be long for this world. The food to properly feed them and the leashes to keep them legal. Another big thing that has started to happen is groups that are making sure that the homeless pets get shots and licenses. They ever try to help get them spaded or neutered. If you have a group in your area helping with this, a donation to buy the shots are welcome in a big way!

For those that are looking for something to do, I hope that it gives you some ideas. To those that are reading this and are remembering that you have some of this stuff and you arenít using them, please donate!

Thank You!

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Arrow 44 replies Author Time Post
Reply Thing to think about when wanting to donate to the homeless... (Original post)
Lady Freedom Returns Jan 2013 OP
polly7 Jan 2013 #1
Fire Walk With Me Jan 2013 #2
nick of time Jan 2013 #3
yesphan Jan 2013 #5
nick of time Jan 2013 #6
TexasTowelie Jan 2013 #25
Arkansas Granny Jan 2013 #4
annabanana Jan 2013 #7
OneGrassRoot Jan 2013 #8
pkdu Jan 2013 #9
Lady Freedom Returns Jan 2013 #11
Prism Jan 2013 #10
Lady Freedom Returns Jan 2013 #12
Lady Freedom Returns Jan 2013 #13
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #14
Lady Freedom Returns Jan 2013 #16
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #18
Lady Freedom Returns Jan 2013 #19
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #20
ReRe Jan 2013 #15
siligut Jan 2013 #17
Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #21
Lady Freedom Returns Jan 2013 #23
TexasBushwhacker Jan 2013 #22
NJCher Jan 2013 #24
dreamnightwind Jan 2013 #26
hedgehog Jan 2013 #27
xtraxritical Jan 2013 #28
Lady Freedom Returns Jan 2013 #29
Blue_Tires Feb 2013 #40
Sissyk Jan 2013 #30
Lady Freedom Returns Jan 2013 #32
Aristus Jan 2013 #31
Lady Freedom Returns Jan 2013 #33
They_Live Jan 2013 #34
Lady Freedom Returns Jan 2013 #35
Honeycombe8 Jan 2013 #36
BrotherIvan Jan 2013 #37
LineNew Reply ^
Wilms Feb 2013 #38
CrispyQ Feb 2013 #39
Lady Freedom Returns Feb 2013 #41
CrispyQ Feb 2013 #43
2theleft Feb 2013 #42
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #44

Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 03:42 PM

1. Excellent, important list. nt.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 03:47 PM

3. My 3 employees

 

were homeless when I hired them to work on our farm, they each have their own home on my property, I pay a living wage and benefits. They've been with me for over 6 years now and are very loyal and hard working. They are considered part of our family.

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Response to nick of time (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:00 PM

5. That's pretty

cool.

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Response to yesphan (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:05 PM

6. Thank you.

 

I am a big believer in treating people as I would want to be treated and it has paid off.
One of my employees got a better offer a few years ago from another farm, he came to me and said he turned it down because of the way I treated him, even though it would have paid more.

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Response to nick of time (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 06:01 PM

25. Kudos to you for doing what is right

and congrats on hitting post #420!

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 03:59 PM

4. This is a good list. Many of the items you mention are not what a person would

ordinarily think of. You can find a lot of hygiene and personal care items online in bulk at a very reasonable price.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:08 PM

7. This is a thread to bookmark..

A valuable reference...

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:10 PM

8. Huge K&R n/t

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:13 PM

9. Thank you ! Many great ideas and I have much to donate..so of all the possibilities...who do you

Recommend donating too?

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Response to pkdu (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:21 PM

11. I would start by hitting google search for your area.

There are many places you can donate to and you may have never known that they help with homeless people.

There are many thrift stores that have back rooms that are for homeless only. There is one here in Tucson like that,St. Vincent de Paul's. Then again in Springfield Mo there is a place called The Cooks Kettle, at night they become a soup kitchen.

So look around your area, you would be surprised who is trying to help.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:14 PM

10. Thank you, thank you, thank you

Difficult to improve on this list.

The bags are a big one. Down where I volunteer, I saw a young man using a quilt to drag around his belongings two weeks ago.

One thing I'd add is leftover public transportation tokens/cards. Depending where you live and how it works, sometimes that last buck on a card you'll never use again can help someone else get to a job interview.

And, of course, time. Even if it's just giving someone a ride somewhere. Many shelters are just tragically understaffed. If you only have a spare hour, go for that hour. Please.

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Response to Prism (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:25 PM

12. Volunteering at a shelter that needs the help could mean the deference in...

having one extra bed open.

Due to certain rules and regulations, many shelters must have so many on staff to have so many beds open for a person to use.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:35 PM

13. BTW, if you feel like sharing this list , please do.

I am a believer that if it is useful, then take it viral.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:54 PM

14. Great list. I would like to add a few items.

I buy the plastic ponchos by the dozen. They are not expensive and can be a live saver literally. The pocket hand warmers. Again buy a box. When donating food try to give the type of cans that dont need a can opener. Spaghetti, ravioli, stew, and beans are favorites as well as canned meats. Large plastic garbage bags. Zip lock bags of all sizes.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:11 PM

16. I'm personally am 50/50 on the hand warmers.

I was up for 72 hours roughly and collapse. In doing so I busted one of those open. Lost a thick coat. Great for cold weather, bad for cloths if bust. You got be careful putting them in shoes to. They do have some for shoes, but many times the ones for hands get used to keep feet warm at night.

Feet are the biggest thing one must watch, so warm feet is a must!

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:14 PM

18. I meant to add, lots of sox. nm

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:22 PM

19. Especially White socks.

Many have sores and wounds on their feet. White socks help keep infection down. That is where anything for wounds is great to donate to places like the Shelters and Walk-in Centers. That way their feet can get some sort of care.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Reply #19)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:24 PM

20. Thanks again for posting. And please continue to repost. nm

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:59 PM

15. Thank you, sweet Lady Freedom

... I have seen this before and think it's important that you keep posting it. We must not forget these people in our society. People should find their local rescue mission, or homeless center, whatever you call in your town or city, and support it. Call and find out what you can do. If they need money, send them what you can on a regular basis. If they need clothes, ask them what kind, sizes, etc and have a little drive among your friends or at your church, or your civic org. and get the clothes to them ASAP. If they need bottled H2O, again, have a little drive among your friends and get it over there. When a few people get their heads together and do something, it goes a long way. If you've never done anything like this before, do it once and see how it goes. I guarantee you it will help the homeless so much. Anyway, that's my addition to your post, Lady Freedom.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:11 PM

17. Underclothes would have to be new

I have never donated used underclothes, but it makes sense that they are needed. Bras can be had for very little money at places like Big Lots.

Good list and information LFR, thank you

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:27 PM

21. K&R This can't be posted too often. n/t

 

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #21)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:31 PM

23. It is my way of paying it forward.

Many homeless person helped me. If I can help by getting info out to help them, it will at least be something.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:30 PM

22. Purell or similar hand sanitizer in small bottles

It's great for a quick clean up when soap and water aren't available. Also sunscreen in the summer and or caps and hats with broad brims.

I would also mention if there is a reputable homeless assistance organization in your area (some aren't so reputable), sometimes you can get more bang for your buck by giving them cash. Like food banks, they can buy these items in bulk at wholesale prices.

You can often get good deals on the toiletry items at drug stores if you watch the ads. They'll sell things like toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, etc. buy one, get one free just to get you in the door.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:43 PM

24. have been clearing out items in my house

And before I saw this, I probably would have just taken it to a Goodwill. The other day, my husband told me Goodwill doesn't even make the list of good places to donate to because the top execs take out a ton of money. All they really do is provide minimum wage jobs. Lots of items you mentioned are in my donation boxes, so thank you for posting this. I would never have thought of it without this post.


Cher

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 06:03 PM

26. K & R, thanks for this post - nt

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 06:06 PM

27. Thank you for this list.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 06:08 PM

28. Did'nt you post this less than a month ago?

 

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Response to xtraxritical (Reply #28)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 06:17 PM

29. Yes...

However with the need that is still in the New England area, the latest Storms in the South, as well as this reminder from xchrom http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022287946 . I though it would be good to bring it back.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Reply #29)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:40 AM

40. well, it's the first time I've seen it, so thanks....

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 06:34 PM

30. This is one of the best

kick-ass post I have seen on DU! Thank you LadyFreedomReturns!

Also, please everyone remember that most of the homeless shelters do not get government funding and run off your and my donations. Ours, the Nashville Rescue Mission is a great shelter but needs our money to survive.

At Christmas, we went to the mission with our truck bed full of small tote bags filed with hygiene supplies, some basis kitchen utensils, zip lock baggies, and a blanket. We had red and blue totes. The red were for women that included some basic make up and under garments. The blue were for men that included thick gloves and hats.

I really wish I had thought of the rolling suitcases for this at that time.

Again, thank you for all you do, LadyFreedomReturns!

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Response to Sissyk (Reply #30)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 06:47 PM

32. It is my way of paying it forward.

This is sort of a rerun of a post I did on Dec. 25 2012. http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022070518

However, with the latest storms and some other reminders of the homeless issue coming up, I thought it maybe a good idea to bring it up again.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 06:44 PM

31. Thank you, LFR, for this list.

Also, people: this is important. If you ever see a homeless person with a cell phone, make sure your first reaction isn't "He's homeless! How come he gets a cell phone?"

First of all, one never knows how long a person has had that phone. Since maybe before he became homeless. Or maybe it is a donated phone, and he has a cheap bare-bones plan. Doesn't matter. Cell phones are lifelines for homeless people. Connections to job prospects, benefits and services, or just to call the police if they get rolled for their money or their medication, or just because, you know, they're homeless and vulnerable, and there are a lot of assholes out there.

One last thing: don't think of them as homeless people; think of them as people.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #31)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 06:59 PM

33. That is a reason I mentioned the government phones.

There is a movement that is somewhat backed by the government by way of tax cuts to get cell phone companies to help get phones to people with low incomes. Even some of the big boy's of the prepaid players are getting into it. They give the phones and a certain number of minutes for free for the use of that person. The people get the minutes every month for a year. They must have proof of income, like the Food Stamp card, a.k.a SNAP or EBT, etc.

They know that safety is important so is the ability to communicate for jobs.

That is where any gently used phone cases come in. It is hard to keep the phones in good condition without and the phone don't come with them.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 08:22 PM

34. Thanks for posting this again.

It is inspiring and helpful info. I've never been homeless, but I know it's always possibly a few paychecks or a medical emergency away. I have been unemployed for several years now, but luckily my wife has a good job and I've been the homemaker and take care of the little one. Anyway, I like to help those who need it when it is possible.

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Response to They_Live (Reply #34)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 08:36 PM

35. And I hope you and your family never will.

As I have posted up above, this is my way to pay it forward.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 08:37 PM

36. Thank you. Good post. nt

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 10:09 PM

37. Thank you for this!

I am going to fill a box and take it to our local shelter that accepts donations this weekend. And stop by the store for some extra TP. Thanks so much for reminding me.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 08:28 AM

38. ^

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:37 AM

39. kick

You will not believe how much paperwork is involved when you are in poverty and worse. Sometimes it feels like a full time office job just to get help.




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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #39)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:56 PM

41. And the worse part is I still don't know how to work it into my resume.

All the work you do, the days of gathering documents just for one program, all the paper shuffling, having to work with multiple groups that also need certain documents so they can help you get what you need for the original program. Then, many times are wasted due to all the time it takes to get that paperwork, you find out the program is full. All that you did was for nothing.

The heart breaker is when it is a jobs program you are trying for. A regular job is way easer than surviving homelessness. But one finds it hard to get a job without help from multiple agencies, there is much one takes for granted when they have an address and are hunting work. However, those agencies need lots of paperwork. And lots of paperwork means lots of walking. For some reason they are located so far apart that in many cases, that when you get from to the other, it is closed.

That is where the messenger bags come in. If one can keep as much as possible with them it can cut the time and get the ball rolling.

ADD: I can not stress the need for messenger bags and backpacks enough. They are a necessity and are hard to find.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Reply #41)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 03:16 PM

43. Kicking again to bouce to the top.

they are located so far apart that in many cases, that when you get from to the other, it is closed.


Such a simple thing to think of, but no one does.

So tragic how difficult we make it to "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps."

Thank you for this post. Bookmarking.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:16 PM

42. Thanks for this info, LFR

On my task list for the weekend is a closet cleaning exercise. I have several briefcase/work bags, and it's great to know they can be used/will be helpful. I will make sure I include them in my donation.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 03:28 PM

44. Kick it again. n/t

 

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