giving back

Donations: Simple Ways to Give to Charity and to Those in Need

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January is typically a month when people want to get organized. They go through their closets and pull out old coats, jackets, scarves, and outdated fashions to make space for all the new things that Santa left under the Christmas tree. They also go through their cupboards and donate canned food for annual food drives.

What do you do with your unwanted items? Chances are you have donated something to someone at some point in your life. Have you thought about dropping them off at a homeless shelter, a food pantry, or the Salvation Army? Take a minute and think about the people that might be in need of your used items. Not only will these item be put to good use, but they can really make a huge difference for someone.

When you donate to charity, you are giving a little part of yourself away. Your gently used household items and food donations are clothing the needy and feeding the hungry.

Homeless men, women, and children can use our donated items to create a new life. A shirt or shoes that fit can make the difference for a homeless person to get a job interview. A donated bike can help them get there.

Everything on this man and the puppies is donated from suburban moms! Jacket, shirt, puppy collars, puppy food, blanket, and puppy bag — you can only imagine how happy this made the man.

On the street last week, I ran into a homeless friend wearing a brand new pair of Pumas. "Nice kicks!" someone said, complimenting him. Down the street on another day, we saw a woman wearing a London Fog trench coat climbing into a dumpster. Newbies who go with me to visit the homeless often remark about how well dressed they are.
"I swear, America has the best dressed homeless population," said my friend from Florida. When you give away your old clothes, shoes, and other items, they go directly to benefit someone else. I have seen this firsthand.
The needy don't care about brands. They are happy to wear whatever they can get. Take the time to go through your closets and cupboards and find unwanted items. Ask yourself whether or not the item would better serve someone else. Include your kids in on this project. Help them imagine who their old toys or clothes would actually benefit. Start off the New Year with a spirit of giving. It will not only bless your life, but to those that are the recipients of your donations.

What items will you donate to charity? How will you teach your children to be more charitable?

Photo courtesy of flickr.

Tammy Kling is a life coach, crisis management expert, and advocate for the homeless. She is an international author of 37 books including The Compass. Tammy is also the founder of The Homeless Writers Project, an organization that helps those living on the street write out their hopes & dreams via writers workshops, free journals and other resources. Tammy is a mom of two boys, an avid trail and mountain runner, blogger, and adventure travel writer


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I'm a book author, homeschool mom of boys, mountain runner and advocate for the homeless. Founder of Write it Out, a homeless recovery program that teaches writers workshops to the homeless and gang members, in order to focus on using the power of words to restore, recover, and rehabilitate.


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