Lend a Helping Hand – Create a Homeless Care Kit
Booker T. Washington once said that “those who are happiest are those who do the most for others," and he was right. Being kind to others, especially those less fortunate, makes one feel good in a way nothing else can.
In the United States, over half a million people are homeless and a quarter of them are children. People become homeless for many different reasons; every individual has a different story. What they do have in common is the need to simply get through each day. That's where you come in. You can help a homeless person by creating a care kit that makes their difficult life a little bit easier. Packages can be prepared and donated to a local shelter, or you can keep packages with you for those you may see on the street looking for help. Place the items in a water-tight, Ziploc plastic bag to protect them from the elements.
As a rule, it is not a good idea to give cash. A better alternative is gift cards from fast food, pharmacy, and grocery store chains. Individually wrapped snack items like granola or cereal bars, crackers with peanut butter or cheese, trail mix, and dried fruit or fruit snacks, are easy-to-eat any time hunger strikes. A bottle or two of water helps combat dehydration, a common problem for the homeless community. Mints, cough drops, and gum are a welcome addition to any care kit. Include a package of wet wipes so they can keep their hands and face as clean as possible.
Although it may not be easy for them to keep up with their hygiene needs, it is a good idea to provide them with basic, personal care necessities, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a comb or small hairbrush. Travel-sized toiletry items like 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner, body wash or bar soap can go a long way to help boost a homeless person's spirit. For women, feminine hygiene products can help preserve their dignity. Other items, such as a nail clipper, razor, deodorant, band-aids, and lip balm, will also be greatly appreciated.
Winters are particularly brutal for the homeless population. Items like thermal socks, winter boots, a pair of gloves, a scarf, and a hat or ear muffs will help them stay warm. These items don't have to be new – gently worn items you no longer use can mean the world to a homeless person. The dollar store is also a great place to shop for items for a homeless care kit.
There are different paths to homelessness, but every person deserves to be helped. This random act of kindness won't just have a positive impact on a homeless person - it will have on positive impact on you!