As you’re budgeting your money this year, have you considered how you’re going to use the money you have to bless others? With the arctic blast hitting almost every state in the US, our homeless community is particularly vulnerable.
While cash money may be a huge blessing, sometimes you can give something that can provide immediate relief. Winter weather care packages can be made easily and carried around in your car. As you see someone who is exposed in the elements, give them a care package.
Here are a few things you might include in your care package:
- A water bottle
- Individually wrapped hand warmers
- Gift certificate to a local hotel for a night
- Gift certificate to GoodWill or another store to purchase a coat/warmer clothes
- Healthy snacks
- Fruit bars
- Pieces of fruit
- Gift certificate to a nearby fast food restaurant for a hot meal
- Gift certificate to grocery store
- A card with a kind word and information on local places that offer shelter, food, and care for those in need
A Few Things You Should Know About Homelessness
Did you know that many homeless shelters have very strict rules on who they will take and who they won’t? Often people who have pets will be turned away. If you’re not a pet person, it may be hard to fathom, but many people would rather brave the elements and risk their lives than to be separated from their beloved pet.
Additionally, often families are split up. If a single mother needs shelter but has a son as young as 14 year old boy, many shelters would turn the young man away and force him to stay at a shelter for men. Would you be willing to send your child away to another shelter where you couldn’t guarantee his safety? Probably not.
There is a misconception that some people “want” to be homeless. While this is possible, the grand majority of people would rather feel safe and comfortable than to have to fend for themselves. Many homeless people are down on their luck or are struggling with untreated mental health issues or addiction. If you see someone who is homeless, perhaps consider talking to them and seeing if there is any way you can connect resources (or support those resources) that are available to them for help.