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Helping Poor People in Your Area

Updated on March 25, 2012

Ways we have tried to help the poor in our area.

Helping the Poor in Our Own Neighborhoods

Helping the poor is a great thing to do, and there probably aren't many that would disagree with this. I saw a question posed about what I had been a part of personally in my area, of how I have helped the poor. I have to admit that I am no expert in this subject, but I can share what I and my family have done to be part of the community that needs help around us.

My first thought upon seeing the question was that I haven't really helped the poor very much, but then small memories came to mind. We can't help everyone, but we can take small steps in each of our areas if we look for opportunities. Sometimes, you need not look far, for opportunities come your way. Just make sure the charities are legitimate and not some scam. There are all kinds of ways to help. The most overlooked might be some very small things, like the examples I share below. Even a little help can be a bigger help collectively.

Food Pantries

I am part of a church that has a food pantry as part of its ministry to people that need food in our community. We give on occasion to this food pantry, as they need more food. For instance they often need more items like peanut butter, breakfast items, and other staples. Every Saturday a group of volunteers hands out sets of bags, including detergent for clothes washing very often. This helps many families to be able to eat and not worry about how they will get money for those things they need. It is a wonderful way to give. If people can't afford to give extra food because of tight funds, they can give of their time to help stock and organize the pantry or bad the items for the next week. We had a member just pass away this last week. He loved the food pantry and helped as he could, even though a very old man. Instead of flowers for his funeral, his wife asked people to help the food pantry. I think this is wonderful and really helps people that are hurting in our area.

Food Pick Ups for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts

Every fall in the United States, there is a weekend where a group of boys from a local Boy Scout or Cub Scout group will come and leave a bag on or near your door. On the bag are simple instructions for what to do with the bag the next weekend. Simply put a couple of items in the bag from your pantry and they will be picked up the next weekend and given to a local food shelter. I was a cub scout leader of our den for 5 years, and each year it was a joy to do with the boys. We covered a particular neighborhood and particular blocks, then took all the food back to organize and distribute to local food banks or pantries. Its an easy way to help that truly helps the poor.

Giving Away Clothing and Household Items

There are charities in our area that will give a phone call on occasion to ask if you need them to come and pick up clothing or household items from your porch or driveway. Their focus is on children and women needing help, if i am not mistaken. I need to learn more about this charity, but from what I understand they either sell and give the proceeds to help poor people or give them the items they need as they need them. I have seen my neighbors get involved and call them up, and they pick up right from your house.

So often we just throw these kinds of items away, as a quick way to get rid of things as we are cleaning out old closets. I know for a fact that these old items can go to help the poor in one way or another. There are groups that focus on helping people that are trying to find new jobs, get nicer clothing that they can wear to an interview, etc.

Being Part of Groups that Give to Various Charities in Various Ways

I am part of a women's group that is proactive in the community and every year they find a new charity to be a part of and give to. This does two things. First, the obvious of helping a given charity, but it also helps us to learn of new charities that we might never have heard of before.

A few that we have been a part of include an abused women and children shelter, another is shelter for women with unplanned pregancies, and yet another is for kids being placed into foster care. This last one is one where they are looking for suitcases, tote bags or backpacks to give to the kids that are being taken out of their home, to help them have something other than a trash bag to put their belongings in. One statistic showed that kids being taken out of their homes, to have nothing but a trash bag to put their things into. It can make an already horrible situation even more horrible when all they have is a trash bag for their things.

Short Term Opportunities

Volunteering in an orphanage for a short time on a trip to Mexico was another thing I did, as well as in a refugee camp setting. These opportunities came up, and I tried to get involved as much as I could for the time I could. I never regretted doing this and it always opened up my eyes to more going on around me. Since that time, I try to give a little to the group that continues to help refugees in Greece from surrounding countries. I can't be there, but I can give a little as I can.

Helping out in an unplanned pregnancy center was one more thing I was part of for a year. We helped women through their pregnancies starting from the beginning with free pregnancy testing, on through when the baby was born with a layette of clothing and formula as needed.

Putting Skills to Work

My step dad recently was part of a really neat thing in his small town, where they helped give books and homemade bookshelves to needy children. He loves to work with wood, and can make a neat item even out of scrap wood. When his friends heard about this neat thing, they thought of him. It was just a couple of weekends ago where they presented the books and bookshelves to the children for their own rooms. They were so happy, and I mean those that did the work and giving, as much as the kids were happy to receive them.

Doing Even a Little BIt Can Make a Difference

Our total collective small efforts over time can really help poor people in our surrounding communities. None of the things I or my family have been a part of above were big things, but they did show some people we cared during a hard time in their life. We never know when we could be on the other side of things, in great need of help from others that can give it.

My thanks goes out to people that help organize such charities and organizations that reach out to hurting people.

Helping the Needy - A Poll

Have you ever considered helping the needy in any way?

See results


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    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hello Kulsom, I hope more and more people will think of the poor people in our communities. It is good for people to help others in need, and we never know when it will be our turn to be in great need.

      Thank you for the encouragement to write more hubs in the future that have some kind of inspiration to help others, etc. Have a great week, and so glad you stopped by.

    • kulsom141211 profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you for your real thinking about the Poor People! It's a great way to help others.I will hope to you that you will write more inspiring hub in future.

      Thanks again.

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hello Getwellsoon, thank you for taking the time to stop by and read my hub. I am very appreciative of your comment and visit here. Have a great day. :)

    • getwellsoon profile image


      7 years ago from US

      Thank you for this hub! Some great ways to help others and a few that I have not thought of.

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hello Fennelseed, most of the time I fall into the same category as just being too busy and not doing really anything. It was myself that I was referring to when I mentioned that sometimes I think people wonder that if they can't give some great amount or big thing, then they just tend to do nothing. Small things count, and my experience is that they aren't as small as they might seem to us. Just the thoughtfulness behind a small action can mean a lot to people.

      If this hub gives even one small idea on a practical level then that makes me so happy! I appreciate your comment, visit and sharing so much Fennelseed, thank you!

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hello Shara, thank you very much for stopping by and leaving a comment. I think it is neat that you said it can help bring peace and helps one to be in a better place, perhaps closer to God when we help people.

      I am glad also that you help people in any way you can. I think it means so much to them and to us also and the whole of society really. I often imagine the children being helped, the most helpless of all sometimes and how much it must mean to them to grow up seeing someone truly helping them through something. That is wonderful.

      Thank you for your comment and I hope you have a great day.

    • Fennelseed profile image

      Annie Fenn 

      7 years ago from Australia

      Hello On'Sts, you have provided very practicable ideas here and while I have often had good intentions, intentions mean nothing unless they are converted into action. There is so much that can be done and you are right lots of little things can collectively make a big difference to those in need. Thank you for this inspiration. I am sharing this hub to spread the word. My votes and best wishes to you.

    • shara63 profile image


      7 years ago from Delhi

      Very gud & inspiring hub....voted up!

      The best way to please God is to help the poors! helping the poors or those who are really in need of any kind of help that improves their living to a level of satisfaction & equality in the society..not only keeps you at peace but seeks you a better place near God!

      Not very big deals but our small efforts in this direction can bring remarkable change in the society!

      i'm happy God has made me able to think & do this way and to help the poors in all possible ways...and I love doing so!

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Pamela, I think its true, that if we all did even a little bit, our collective efforts together could name a huge impact! I know I have been guilty of thinking I can't do much so I just kind of give up sometimes on the whole idea. Rather, we can all do little things, like you shared how you give extra citrus when you have it. That is wonderful! It can be very expensive and people will love to have it. How great you do what you can and your church as well. I love that. People are really appreciative that need it as well. It may mean more than you can ever know.

      It is very inspirational to me to read of even small but kind deeds that you and others do for others. Thanks so much for sharing. God Bless you Pamela. :) Have a great week.

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hello GmaGoldie, I loved reading your comment, thank you so much for sharing. How great that you built your own bookshelf when 15 years old, what a great talent to have known so early on! I am like you in that I love books, and they too were like friends. Giving books, shelves, and a general love of reading is an amazing gift to kids for the reasons you shared.

      It is wonderful that you do what you can, and it is a rough road for many people now. I don't think anyone is immune to the hard times with our economy right now. However, we can always find more needy than ourselves and I like what you said about giving a little bit one way or another. Thanks so much for your comment. I really appreciate it and it motivates me. :) Have a great week.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      You're right. If we all do a little bit it would make a huge difference. I give all household and clothing items to the Vietnam Vets. I also have taken our extra citrus from our trees to food banks and our church does several things also. Voted up, very useful hub.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin


      My church runs the food pantry and participates in the homeless shelter. It is a rough road for us but our congregation is very special.

      It is so much easier for us to live in our own world and ignore those hurting.

      From disease to poverty, the world is needy and yet we are all capable. A little bit of any gift - time, effort or money can make the world of difference.

      Your Dad has a special place in my heart. I built a 6' bookcase when I was 15. I love books and find they have always been one of my closest friends.

      My Grandparent had 6 children, all of their children all attended college except for one daughter. When you went to her home, there was never a magazine, a book of any sort. Yet I remember distinctly her wondering why her three children did not attend college.

      The role models we set, the children we come in contact with may not make a difference today, often, it is remembered and appreciated many years later.

      The physical book shelf is so beautiful - a gift to those who received it and the story will live on here on the virtual world.

      Thank you so much for motivating us to a better place by helping others.


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