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Making Care Packages for the Homeless: How You Can Start Giving Back

By: Brittany Engelmann-- 2016-07-13 6:30 am --

As summertime approaches, homelessness often becomes a more visible problem, as fewer homeless people are seeking out beds in shelters. In turn, many wonder how they might go about helping these people and make a lasting impact in their lives. Care packages are an easy, affordable, and thoughtful way to better the lives of those without homes. It can help lessen their struggle, while letting them know you’re concerned for their wellbeing.

The Importance of Care Packages for Homeless People

According to research conducted by Crisis.org, homelessness tends to exacerbate feelings of loneliness and isolation. Homeless people often feel alone, invisible, and as though nobody cares about their lives. Perhaps the best reason to distribute care packages to homeless people is because it will let them know that someone cares and that their lives have value to the community.

Additionally, one of the greatest challenges that homeless people face is breaking the cycle of homelessness. Even for homeless people with ample job skills and good health, finding a job has countless barriers. When they are struggling to find food, keep themselves clean, and find warmth at night, the prospect of landing a job seems insurmountable. A care package can provide them the basic necessities they need to remain clean, hygienic, and nourished, thus improving their likelihood of escaping the cycle.

What Should Your Care Package Include?

Once you’ve decided to create care packages, next comes the struggle of determining what would be the most relevant items to put in the care package. Some of the top things to consider are include:

  • Basic hygiene supplies like soap, shampoo, conditioner, shaving equipment, and feminine hygiene products if applicable
  • Seasonally relevant clothing articles like socks, undergarments, gloves, and scarves
  • Emergency gear like first aid kits and emergency blankets
  • Sunscreen
  • Nonperishable snack items.

 

When compiling care packages, you need to be careful to shop wisely. Considering you’ll be creating multiple care packages, each containing the same supplies, it’s wise to buy in bulk. By purchasing bulk supplies, you’ll save money and be able to make a greater impact. Also, consider making separate care packages to cater to varying demographics. For instance, men, women, and children will have slightly different needs. Also be wary of varying dietary preferences and allergens. Consider offering vegan, gluten-free, or nut-free options as well.

How Should You Go About Distributing Care Packages?

After you’ve created your care packages, you need to find a way to distribute them. While it varies city to city, many cities have ordinances against distributing items to homeless people without a permit. Unless you’re certain of the laws in your area, it may be better to drop the care packages at the local homeless shelter or soup kitchen and have them redistribute the supplies to people in need.

Creating care packages for homeless people is a way to show you care, give back to your community, and give homeless people a sense of hope and belonging. It can also be a great activity for families, offering you a way to connect with your loved ones and teach your children the value of giving back. Make your dollar go further by purchasing all of the supplies you need in bulk. Click here to browse a variety of food, personal hygiene and self-care items today.