Two years ago on the blog, I wrote this little piece about Homelessness and Help. Since then I have been wondering if any of you readers have done anything to help any homeless in your area.
I feel pretty ashamed to admit that beside the odd dollar or change, I haven’t done anything to help. I know the holidays are a cliche time to give, but I guess when it comes to helping others, it doesn’t matter what time of year it is.
It’s amazing that with only one minute worth of Googling “holiday charity,” I can get ba-jillions of sites, ideas and links to give you. I decided to whittle them down and only link to the ones that I myself will be giving to this year:
Turkey Drives. Turkey drives are great because you know exactly where your donation is going. So you can imagine a big pot of turkey stew, or a nice plump turkey on the table of someone who ordinarily would not even dream of a hot meal.
Salvation Army Angel Trees and Red Kettles. Red kettles are probably the absolute easiest way to give because they’re ubiquitous. What I like most is that they are non-confrontational. I start to get panicky when charities come up to me and ask me and I have to decline. The red kettles are very casual. Even if you drop a few pennies or a few dollars, it all helps, and they always wish you good tidings. You stay classy, Salvation Army.
And of course, the ubiquitous Toys for Tots. I recommend giving toys that are timeless and highly imaginative. Jordan Ferney has a fantatic post about timeless toys. I think I will be wrapping up a lot of nice Schleich dinos for kids!
You can also do your own thing. One of my favorite things to do with my cousins in Prescott was make our own homeless packages: wrap up a fleece blanket with a thermos (a hard plastic or metal one – reusable) filled with soup, some packets of hot chocolate (most restaurants or fast food places will give you hot water), and some stamps (maybe they have some letters to send?) It may be just a few of these packages, but it means a lot to the people sitting in the freezing cold park.