A Look At Giving To Homeless Shelters
Giving To Homeless Shelters Helps The Homeless
There are literally thousands of homeless shelters across the world. People stay there as they are jobless, homeless, sometimes suffering, in need of food, clothing, and other basic necessities. Often those in this condition are simply in need of some encouragement to help them work hard to get their lives back on track. There are many ways that one can give to help those in homeless shelters. Here are a few ideas:
Money is always one of the first things that many think of when they are considering donating to a shelter. And while there are a host of contributions that are more than helpful, monetary gifts are greatly appreciated by all involved. Not only do the homeless benefit from it, but the shelter itself and the people who run it can plan their future with ease when they receive regular monetary gifts.
If you wish, you can often even adopt a family to support at your local shelter. This will allow you to feel that your gift is more personal, and you also know exactly where the money is going.
Shelters are also always in need of a variety of food, clothing, and other personal items. It is probably a good idea to call a shelter ahead of time to make sure they have storage space and also get recommendations about what products are best to bring and can find out during which hours the shelter accepts donations. You can also check to see if they have a website where you can access this information.
Some of the most desired and popular items that many shelters always seem to be in need of include: food, new toys, games, baby dolls, stuffed animals, food, linens, towels, paper products, medicines, and all personal hygiene items. Another great gift that shelters love to receive are gift cards. This enables them to allow those at the shelter to go buy clothing or other items of their choice without worrying that the money will be taken or spent in another way.
When it comes to food, generally anything with a long shelf life is acceptable. Canned goods, boxed foods, cereal, pasta, rice, fruit and vegetables, soup, peanut butter, coffee, and tuna are some great choices. Foods that children love are also great as there are many children at shelters. If you are interested in bring fresh fruit or other perishables, simply check with the shelter. They will likely be happy to receive it if they know when to expect it.
The holidays offer a great opportunity to expand your giving. Many of these homeless people and children have no money or income at all and thus no prospects of giving or receiving gifts or even decorating around the holidays. This can make for a very depressing situation for both parents and children. Parents are sad that they have nothing for their children and children are sad that there is no real celebration.
But you can make a difference. Even donating a few of your own decorations and toys that may only cost a few dollars can make a world of difference in the type of Christmas that these people will have. You can really turn their world around with a simple act of kindness.
It is an encouraging fact that any donation you make to a homeless shelter is a tax-deductible gift. In order for this to be declared so, you will need to have all of the proper papers signed by the staff at the shelter.
If you feel that you simply do not have the resources to give money or other items to a shelter, there is still something you have to offer: your time. All shelters are understaffed most of the time, and they could always use more people working to encourage those who are living there. There is always work to be done: transportation to be given, meals to be prepared and served, parents in need of babysitters, and paperwork to be done. A few hours of your time each week would be most appreciated by these shelters.
Even if you do not donate real staff hours, you can adopt your own child or family and make sure that you do your best to encourage them. You can help them find work, make sure that their birthdays are celebrated, and just be a friend to them. Many of these people have no friends or even family and one person who cares can make all the difference. You could turn out to be the reason that they get their life turned around and are eventually able to leave the shelter and live on their own.
David M Peterson
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