According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, there are approximately half a million homeless people on the streets every night. As people await permanent housing, it is the temporary shelters that are providing the necessary things that these individuals and families need to make it from day-to-day. Most people want to jump in and help but often do not know where to start or what is needed. Below is a list of five things that are important to buy in bulk to help your local homeless shelters.
Soap is Always Welcome
Whether it is hand soap, body soap, or laundry detergent, homeless shelters need a steady supply of soap to maintain cleanliness and basic hygiene. Keeping clean is a huge struggle and one of the leading causes of the spread of infectious diseases. Of course, laundry detergent can be cost-prohibitive too, so bulk donations of soap products are highly sought after and appreciated.
Socks in Bulk
Buying bulk socks for homeless is always a good idea. It’s one of the most welcomed donated items for shelters because they are always in need. Since many homeless people do a lot of walking, and are often subject to harsh weather conditions, keeping their feet dry and comfortable, as well as warm in the wintertime is important.
Blankets Save Lives
Homeless shelters are always in need of blankets for the people who come and go, but also to make sure there are enough blankets to rotate clean ones in while the dirty ones are being washed for their temporary residents. Shelter beds are usually at a premium, especially in the wintertime. While no one wants to turn a temporary resident away, the very least a shelter can do is enquire about open beds elsewhere and distribute a coveted blanket to keep them warm.
Don’t Forget Coats
Supplying a bulk amount of coats to homeless shelters is one way of giving back. In the winter, coats are necessary to keep them warm, giving them an extra layer of protection against the elements. In the warmer months, coats can be rolled up and used as a pillow or lap blanket. One of the most challenging things about coats is the sheer number of coats needed in various sizes. From youth to adults, coats are always in high demand.
Backpacks Come in Handy
While not a critical item, backpacks are essential for the homeless and shelters are more than willing to provide them for transient people. They need good backpacks to carry their essential items like extra socks, personal hygiene items like soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, and other things they’ve collected along the way.
Buying these items in bulk can potentially save a lot of money per unit. When it comes to organizing a drive for the homeless shelters in your area, consider making a group effort to afford these bulk items. Naturally, there are many more items that a homeless shelter can use bulk items for, but socks, blankets, soap, backpacks, and coats are at the top of the list. Support your local shelter today.