The holidays are upon us! Many people give to charities or Toys for Tots while they’re shopping. Have you ever stopped to think about what’s needed in all the giving? Here’s five items that people often overlook.
Socks are one of the most needed items, but it’s rarely donated. Many homeless people have no socks going so far to wrap their feet in newspaper. Many diseases can enter the body through the feet. Socks are also one of the articles of clothing that wear out the fastest. Think about your favorite pair of socks and how fast they get holes in them.
There are great organizations like The Joy of Sox who hold sock drives. You can also donate them to your local shelters.
2. Pads and Tampons
Ladies, periods suck. We all know this. You bleed. You cramp. You’re PMSing. They suck!
Now imagine being homeless on the street when your period hits. You don’t have enough money for food let alone a tampon. Feminine products are incredibly hard to come by in homeless shelters. Just hearing some of the stories homeless women go through is heartbreaking. So grab some pads and tampons for your ladies in need!
I would also love to see more companies donate their menstrual cups to homeless ladies. They’re clean, reusable, and something that could help many women.
To add to this, many shelters need personal care items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, hand sanitizer, sanitary wipes, toilet paper, chapstick, etc.
People always donate staple foods like canned goods and rice. Don’t get me wrong! These are super important. But maybe throw in some spices too! Think about your favorite meals. What makes them so good? Did you throw in some rosemary? Oregano? Garlic salt? Pepper? Store brand spices are only a few extra dollars. Grab some to donate with those staple foods!
4. Toys for Tots needs preteen to teen items!
I see it on the news all the time during this time of year. Toys for Tots never get enough donations for the preteen to teen age range. It seems everyone latches onto the “Toys” aspect of the organization. My niece is eleven and officially a tween. I can’t imagine some other little boy or girl her age not receiving something for Christmas. The Toys for Tots website suggests items like sporting equipment, books, purses, bath gift sets, board games, hand-held electronics, skateboards/helmets, curling irons, hair straighteners, and more!
Seriously, you can find a lot of these items at Five Below. Go crazy.
5. Food, grooming items, and toys for animal shelters
A lot of animal shelters are non-profits or get their resources from their counties. There are great websites like Free Kibble that helps out shelters, but even then it’s not enough. If you’re getting Fluffy or Fido a Christmas present this year, grab something extra for your local animal shelter. Maybe a bag of food, an extra toy, or a pet brush.
These are all simple items that you can get to help brighten someone’s day. When donating this holiday season, don’t forget about these things!