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    Helping the Homeless During the Holidays

    Highly rated nonprofits serving the needs of and advocating on behalf of homeless individuals and families

    The holiday season brings a renewed sense to helping those less fortunate. The homeless population is especially vulnerable, especially in areas where the winter season brings colder and wet weather. Shelters act as a refuge for homeless individuals and families seeking warm and dry places to stay and meals. 


    To assist in their efforts, we’ve compiled a list of common items that you might not have known most shelters accept.  You can collect and donate these items to your local homeless shelter.  Additionally, we’ve identified these highly rated homeless shelters and rescue missions working in communities across the country. Remember, whether you support national organizations with a donation or your local homeless shelter with gifted items, they operate throughout the year and can use your support at any time.


    Clothing. Many shelters accept gently-worn casual and professional clothing, as well as warm jackets and coats for the colder months. If they house families, some may accept infant and children’s clothing too.


    Toiletries and personal care items. Shelters provide these items to clients living in their facilities, as well as homeless individuals in the community.


    Reading glasses. Consider donating your old or extra pairs of glasses to your local shelter. They will provide them to their clients as is, or fit them with their proper prescription.


    School supplies and toys. Shelters that house families can often use toys and school supplies, especially in the middle of the year when supplies are running low.


    Blankets. These are especially helpful when the weather gets cold. New and gently-used blankets are always appreciated!


    Durable bags. Shelters often provide their clients with bags and boxes to keep their personal belongings in if they’re unable to store them during the day. Think about donating the extra canvas totes and duffel bags you have lying around the house.


    Bicycles. Some shelters will accept gently-used bicycles for their clients so they can run errands and get to work.