A Gift For The Homeless.
Do you regularly see a member of the homeless community with nothing?
Sometimes, everybody feels a bit compassionate even those who are of a heart of stone. Most commonly though, they have no idea how to exhibit this compassion so I am writing this in an attempt to help anybody who can do their part.
As you can see through my previous hubs, I am a big advocate of the homelessness and this hub is no different. This hub in particular is putting together a shoebox gift for the homeless which you can give all year round.
The key to this is to remember it is winter all year round for a homeless man, with that in mind we can apply common sense when we fill the box.
So, what do I need?
First things first is you need a shoe box, just a regular adult shoe box will do. Believe me when I say you do not need to decorate it, though they will appreciate the effort it will not be of importance to them.
After your shoe box, you will need:
- Socks - Everybody needs clean, warm socks, especially the homeless. Throughout the day, homeless men sweat the most from their feet, some do not even change their socks for weeks on end because they lack a clean pair. This leads to fungal infections like Athlete's Foot and cracked skin, painful sores and blisters.
- A Scarf - At nighttime, even in summer, temperatures can drop below freezing and the most exposed part of a typical homeless person's body is their face and neck.
- Pocket Tissues - A luxury they will appreciate and can cost as little as 15p per single packet.
- Hygiene - I use this collectively as there are hundreds of items you can give here, the most important being stick-deodorants (as these last longer than sprays and aren't abused by solvent users), toothpast, a toothbrush, alcohol scrub which you can get for as little as £1 for a pack of three travel bottles).
- Fresh Fruit - Adding an apple and orange will give them the vital nutrients they lack on a regular homeless person's diet. Not only is fruit high in energy but it will help release endorphins, the feel good hormone, let's face it they need some of that. The same will happen if you add a ...
- Bar of Chocolate
- Tinned Beans with Rimple Pull
- Hat and Gloves although many will already have these, do not give the hat and gloves to people who do not need them, many other people who you can't give an entire shoebox to may need them more than someone else.
- 50p - For that morale boost, something they can treasure as a keep sake which is actually useful to them, should they need to use it.
- A print out of homeless services - This will help them if they are new to the streets, if it doesn't help them then literature like this has it's way of staying protected and passed around to those who do need it. For ideas of homeless services which may be available in your area, check my previous and upcoming posts.
If a shoebox isn't your thing; may I recommend:
A Sleeping Bag: These are the most valuable gift you can give to a rough sleeper, it will keep them protected from the elements, hidden from view of other people whilst they sleep which will protect them from mindless attacks and it gives them something they can keep their possessions in whilst they sleep. The one to the right is the one I used to use myself, but during last winter my friend gave me a knew one which was much warmer. In the UK, a lot of organisations such as Open Hands and the churches will provide homeless people with free sleeping bags.
A Tent: A tent is a bit of a luxury item, but even a pop up tent will give a homeless man a home. Everybody deserves a roof over their head. The one advertised to the right is like a sleeping bag and a tent in one. It is one of the best for a homeless person who needs to hide whilst they sleep for self-preservation. I wouldn't recommend massive tents, or tall tents; I made the mistake of getting a teepee tent when I was homeless, I rarely used it because it was difficult to erect and very visible.
And lastly, A Stove: A stove will allow the homeless person to be able to feed themselves, allowing them to save a little bit of money to put towards getting rehoused rather than wasting it on unhealthy fast food. A butane stove is inexpensive and will earn the respect of a homeless man for life. I always recommend a double stove but a single stove can be just as good, you just have to cook things individually. The one to the right is the same as the one I own myself from when I was homeless.
Now, when you see a homeless person, there is no need to feel ashamed. Provide them with a gift which will be useful for them for the rest of their homeless term.
REMEMBER: It is very rare you will find someone who chooses to be homeless, who woke up one day and thought "Yes, I will give up my house and move onto the streets."
KEEP YOUR COINS; WE WANT CHANGE!