5 Simple Ways to Help the Homeless

1. Gather Toiletries     
Something as simple as a small bottle of lotion or a new razor can really raise the spirits of someone who has been living on the streets. Whether you are shopping at the dollar store or you’ve just had a stay at a hotel, gathering a stash of travel-sized toiletries is a breeze.

When you have a bagful—or more—just bring it by Crosswalk (2nd & Howard), which is open 24/7. We’ll distribute them amongst our programs to the people who need them most.
   gathering hotel toiletries is easy
2. Set up Automatic Giving    
One of the easiest ways to make a big difference is to set up an automatically recurring donation on our website. It takes as little as four minutes to:
  • Pick an amount ($1 or $1 million)
  • Choose a frequency (once a month, once a quarter, even once a year)
  • Select a duration (i.e. three months, a year, even forever)
  • Give to a particular program or just wherever it is needed most

Just a few minutes of your time creates a gift that keeps on giving—literally!

   Giving securely online takes just minutes
3. Carry Homeless Care Kits in Your Car
A re-sealable baggie filled with basic essentials makes a great care kit you can keep in your car or donate for us to distribute. This is also a great project to do as a family or with your coworkers or church group.

What kinds of items should you include? Here’s a few ideas:
  • band-aids
  • bus pass
  • comb
  • deodorant
  • feminine hygiene
  • gloves
  • hand warmers
  • juice box
  • lip balm
  • lotion
  • nail file
  • power bar
  • razor
  • reference card  (print one here)
  • shaving cream
  • soap
  • socks
  • tissues
  • toothbrush and toothpaste
  • wash cloth
a resealable bag filled with essentials makes a great care kit
4. Drop off Food
You don’t have to prepare and serve an entire meal to help feed the homeless who utilize our programs. You can drop off canned goods or freezer-ready items anytime.

Our Crosswalk shelter (at 2nd & Howard downtown) is open 24/7 to accept donations. Just tell us if you want the food to be used for a specific program (like our Hope House women’s shelter or our housing for veterans), otherwise we’ll use it wherever it is needed the most.

It’s as easy as picking up an extra bag or box of something when you are at Costco or your local grocery store.
Donating food is an easy way to make a difference
5. Shop at the Volunteers of America Thrift Store
If you need a new coat, bedside lamp or golf bag anyway, why not do some good while you get what you need?

When you buy new and gently used items at the Volunteers of America Thrift Store (6206 E Trent Ave—map it), you benefit all our programs that serve the homeless. It’s a great place to find unique clothing, house wares, furniture, sports equipment, kid gear, craft supplies and so much more—and make a difference at the same time.

You can also help by donating to the Thrift Store. We’ll even pick up your donation. Just call 509.327.4112 for more information.
clothing at our thrift store
Want more ways to get involved? Visit our volunteer section.