by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Every day, homeless children wander the streets or lie in shelters. They wonder if they'll get to use soap in the shower. They wonder where their next meal is coming from - if there is one. They also wonder if people like you and me even care. Show them you care by taking the time to donate low-cost items. Most areas have programs that serve homeless youth. It only takes a small amount of time and money to give something that could mean a great deal to a child.
Do you have soap for your shower every day? Unfortunately, some people do not - even children. A simple bar of soap can mean everything to someone who doesn't have this luxury. Dollar stores often sell multi-packs of soap, so stock up and deliver them to your local shelter or homeless aid program.
Shoes and Clothing
Try donating your family's used shoes and clothing. If you don;t have anything that would benefit kids, stop at a local thrift store. They often have sales or prices that will allow you to purchase a large amount for a reasonable price.
Tissue and Baby Wipes
Here again, tissue can be a precious commodity. When donating to shelters, remember that some of the people may need to carry items around all day. Try purchasing small packs of tissues that are easy to carry. Baby wipes are also great, as they are multipurpose. Homeless mothers can use them for their children and homeless youth can use them to keep clean.
Shampoo and Conditioner
Just like soap, shampoo is very important and hard to come by when your income is low. You can find low-cost shampoo at your local dollar store or other discount retailer. It would seem nice to treat the kids to some expensive shampoo. But the lower the cost, the more people you can help. So it's best to keep the price tag low.
Just like anyone else, homeless kids can use lip balm. This is especially true in winter and summer months. In the winter, the icy air dries the lips. In the summer, the harsh sunlight does the same. Choose the lowest cost lip balm with the highest SPF properties.
Hydration Drink Packets
Some hydration drinks now come in powdered form. These need to be mixed with water. These packets are great for homeless children and families. Not only do they help keep them hydrated, but they are very portable. People can carry around a large amount of these without having to lug too much weight. These can be found at many grocers.
Trail mix can be found everywhere now, including the dollar store. It's packed with protein and other nutrients that homeless kids may be lacking. Plus, it's lightweight and very portable. If you choose the right trail mix, some are actually balanced enough to take the place of a meal, if need be. Buy single-serving packets when buying these for homeless kids, as they will be easier to hand out at the shelter.
Now, since homeless kids will be carrying around all their items, they probably don;t want a big pile of books each. However, one or two books each would be extremely beneficial., Sometimes libraries have sales where you can fill a whole bag for a small amount of money. Also, if you have used children's books, consider donating those. Go for lightweight books of varied reading levels.
Bus Tickets or Tokens
Public transportation is likely what a homeless kid is using if they are using any at all. Tokens or tickets can help them get to school, work, or to a shelter. Consider donating bus fare to homeless children. This may cost slightly more than other items on the list. But it will be very valuable.
Reusable Grocery Bags
Sturdy reusable grocery bags can hold a large amount of items and are easy to carry around, This is very helpful to homeless kids, They may need to walk around quite a bit. So their bag needs to be something that holds all their belongings, but is not too hard to carry. Reusable grocery bags can be as little as fifty cents each. The insulated ones are especially nice because they can keep foods fresh and at their temperatures longer. I only paid three dollars each for my insulated ones.
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Imagine being a child and having nowhere to go at night, no blanket to sleep with, no basic necessities to take care of yourself, and only the streets for shelter. This is the life of some.
But you can help.
With minimal cost and some creativity, you can give one or more homeless kids a backpack full of items that will help them get through it. Most shelters will appreciate a drop-off of such a package.
An alternative is to donate to a charity that already provides this servoce.
Project Night Night explains to people how they can help a homeless child with essential comfort items.
Each Project Night Night package includes a security blanket, an age-
appropriate children's book, and a stuffed animal. They come in portable canvas tote bag that can easily be tossed over a child's shoulder for convenience.
No child should have to go without warmth. They may also need simple comfort items, such as a stuffed animal and a book. Security, comfort, and warmth are especially important fpr a child without a place to call home.
These bags cost less each than a cup of coffee. I am a long-time supporter of this charity.
I encourage all who can to consider donating through the Project Night Night site.
*Hugs and Love!* ~ Lyn
Centennial Hall will become a one-stop event for service providers to lend a hand through Project Homeless Connect on Monday. This will be the second time Juneau has hosted the event, which will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
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