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Inexpensive Care Packages for the Homeless

by Esperanza Dodge

Winter means spending more time inside with family where it's warm. Unfortunately, for many, they have no home and no place to get warm during these cold months.

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While this is the season homeless shelters open their doors for a warm place to sleep at night, it’s still cold during the day and food is greatly appreciated. It’s very important that those of us blessed with a home to go to every night help out our homeless community members.

Many of us are living paycheck to paycheck and don’t have much to give but want to help. So here’s an affordable care package you can make for homeless people in your area, even if you can only afford to put a couple items in the bag.

Care package supplies:

Large plastic zip bag
Beef jerky or slim jims
Soft food like Nutrigrain bars
Long black socks (2 pairs, if you can)
Bottle of water
Ear muffs or scarf
A dollar or two
If possible, a list of local places offering hot meals (like churches, community centers, etc.)
Add a small hot meal (if you can)

Supplies to avoid:

Granola bars (dental work is harder to come by for this population and granola bars can be too hard to eat)
Soap and shampoo (there is not an abundant of places to use these items and when they do have access to a shower at a shelter, these items are provided)

You can purchase all the above at the Dollar Tree for $1 each, or in a pack for $1 for more than one. If you plan on making more than one care package, you can purchase at a store like Walmart/Kmart for an even better deal.

Homeless people have said the number one thing they want, but never receive, is socks.

They also said the best food to receive is beef jerky because it can be stored for later use and has protein.

If you can’t do any other items, at least try to do socks and beef jerky.

Add in a hot meal like a burger, and a dollar or two if you can, as these will be useful items.

Be sure to only give out the care packages when you feel comfortable and safe, or some people like to leave them on park benches with a note saying "Please take me". Know that you are doing something kind and loving for others, even if you are on a tight budget.

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Copyright © 2016 by Esperanza Dodge. All rights reserved.

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