Every year, thousands of families, individuals and youth are in need of everyday items and necessities that many of us take for granted. Here are the top 5 items needed by families, individuals and youth in need and 5 easy ways you can help by simply collecting and donating.
1. Gift cards and bus tickets:
These items are highly-needed at many agencies. Agencies who work with low-income populations love to receive gift cards for groceries stores or drug stores, so that they can hand these out to their clients. The cost of transportation can be very expensive and it’s also great for agencies to provide clients in need with bus tickets. Gas cards are also a great thing to collect for agencies, so that they can give these to volunteers or staff who spend a lot of time driving but are not reimbursed for their mileage (like Meals on Wheels). Agencies who work with youth, such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Calgary, always appreciate gift cards or vouchers for entertainment (movie passes, zoo passes, etc.) so that they can take their young clients out for a bit of fun!
2. Hygiene items:
Hygiene items include toothpaste, a toothbrush, shampoo, etc. These are items that everyone needs, but their cost can add up, and unfortunately some families or individuals have to choose between paying for food and rent, or buying soap. Collect hygiene items for an agency, so that they can provide these to their low-income clients! Make arrangements to drop these off at a local homeless shelter, such as the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre.
Like hygiene items, clothing is a basic need (especially during Calgary’s cold, winter months!). But again purchasing clothing can be expensive. Many agencies who work with low-income clients are very grateful for donations of new or gently used clothing, footwear, or accessories. Some examples of agencies that accept clothing donations are The Women In Need Society, Making Changes’ Walk-In-Closet program, or the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre.
4. Items for babies/kids:
Anyone who has children knows how expensive it can be to provide them with basic needs items, especially when they are constantly outgrowing things. Help a family who might not be able to provide their child with everything they need by collecting and donating new or gently used items such as kids clothing, toys, or school supplies. Bottles and diapers are especially needed! Some examples of agencies in need of items for babies and children are The Children’s Cottage Society or NeighbourLink.
5. Non-perishable food items:
These include items like canned goods, pasta, rice, or granola bars. Everyone needs to eat, but unfortunately not everyone can afford to do so. Run a collection drive for non-perishable food items, and deliver them to a local homeless shelter or food bank!
Do you have any suggestions on items worth collecting to help families in need? Share them with us!