While quarantine has placed emphasis on staying at home, it is important to remember that not everyone has that privilege. People who experience homelessness have undergone a unique set of adversities during the pandemic. Backpacks USA has created a guide on how to help the homeless population during COVID-19 that prioritizes safety and maximizes impact.
Get Your Community Involved
Your passion for assisting others can be contagious. Inform people within your community on how you plan to give back this year. The information could encourage someone to start their own charitable traditions.
Increase your impact by making a communal donation. With the help of social media platforms, gaining traction on a donation page is now more plausible than ever. The internet has streamlined the connection between donors and charitable pages.
A virtual fundraiser is a great way to socialize with the community in a way that adheres to social distancing recommendations. Together with your community, select a local program that would benefit from your assistance. With a virtual fundraiser, you and your peers will be able to raise a sizable donation from home.
Contact Elected Officials
Through legislative advocacy, you can make some significant ripples in your community. Contact elected officials in your area to inquire what they are doing to help their constituents during these trying times.
Vouch for affordable housing in your community to keep those who are financially struggling housed. Research representatives to reach out to and express your desire for people experiencing homelessness to have stable access to shelter.
Volunteer Your Time
If you do not have a social platform or are financially wound this year, you can still be a major asset to a charitable organization. Many shelters and donation facilities utilize the assistance of volunteers. Find a local organization that offers volunteer work to support people who are homeless. Continue to follow social distancing and mask requirements while lending a hand.
As social media is useful in raising donation page views, it is also helpful in raising awareness. Some folks are oblivious to poverty issues in their area merely because they are not affected personally. You can bring attention to social causes like homelessness to family members and friends by sharing a well-designed informational graphic.
Donate Much-Needed Products
Because of the financial stressors of the pandemic, more and more people are utilizing shelter resources. Shelters and donation facilities can only sustain so much material on their own. Consider assisting organizations in meeting the needs of people experiencing homelessness in your community.
Underwear and socks are some of the most requested items from homeless shelters. These clothing items cannot be accepted if they have been used, making it crucial to purchase new ones. Backpacks USA has a variety of bundle kits you can donate that optimize your charitable purchase.
Clean socks and underwear can minimize the risk of various health issues and contribute to the comfortability of a person who is experiencing homelessness. Make diversified size donations, as shelters hope to fulfill the needs of people of various ages and sizes. The following items make significant donations for those experiencing homelessness:
- Boxers and briefs
- Cotton socks, and wool socks for winter
- Boys’ and girls’ children underwear
Emergency Care Products
PPE and sanitary products have been repeatedly stocked this year to accommodate for the influx of demands. This has made it harder for charitable organizations to acquire proper emergency care equipment for people that lack the resources.
If you have found yourself over-stocked with sanitary items, consider donating them. Shelters and donation facilities have an overwhelming demand for these items amid the pandemic and will put them to good use. Items include:
- Hand sanitizer
- PPE: masks, gloves, goggles
- Thermometers and thermometer covers
- Cleaning supplies
- Sanitation wipes
- Fever-reducing medicine
- Fresh linens: bedding, towels, blankets
First-aid equipment is also a beneficial donation to most charitable organizations. A standard kit should be comprised of band-aids, antibiotic ointment or spray, gauze, and medical tape.
Dental Hygiene Products
Poor dental hygiene can lead to a host of health issues. To provide people in your community with the tools necessary to maintain good health, donate some new dental hygiene products. Toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste, and mouthwash are all important for strong teeth and healthy gums and are likely accepted items at your local shelter.
Acquiring menstrual health products can get costly. For people who are impoverished, things like tampons, pads, and menstrual cups are not as attainable. Because they are not offered through benefit programs, shelters rely on helpful donations from the community to reach menstrual product demands.
When reflecting on how to help the homeless population during COVID-19, consider bathing essentials. Places with showering and bathing facilities are most appreciative of toiletry or hygiene kits, as they rarely have a surplus amount on hand. Travel sizes are preferred for their portability, which is something to keep in mind if donating any of the following items:
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Face and body soap
- Shower gel
- Shower caps
- Toilet paper
- Shaving cream and razors
- Nail files and clippers
- Hair combs and brushes
- Fresh towels
Donate Gently Used Materials
If you cannot acquire unused or new material to donate, sift through your home for items you can donate. Coats, sweaters, pants, and shoes are all items that are generally accepted if gently used. Purge your home of unused clothing materials. Not only will you declutter your home, but you will improve the resources for your local shelter.
If your health conditions allow, consider making a blood donation. Medical facilities have seen a decline in blood donors over the last several months, though the need for donations has not decreased.
At Backpacks USA, we understand the importance of giving back to your community. We make impactful donations feasible with our free shipping on wholesale school supply kits, bulk hygiene kits, and many other selections. Shop our online store to see which items make the greatest addition to your donation lists. Together we can help those struggling in our communities to find solace during quarantine.