Your community’s needs vary with the seasons, and this winter has been particularly harsh for those living in poverty. Do you need ideas for winter charitable giving? Here are nine to get you started:
1. Get Crafty for Charity. Do you knit, crochet, or quilt? Put your talent to work for people who don’t have warm clothing or blankets. Craft sweaters, hats, mittens, scarves, afghans, or quilts, and then drop your work off at local shelters and soup kitchens for the people in your community who need them most.
2. Splurge on Someone Else. There’s a real difference in quality between the coats from premium retailers and those at the local discount chain. Cheaper coats tend to be less warm, more prone to tearing, and have zippers that barely last a season. So splurge on a nice, premium-performance coat—and then give it to someone who really needs it.
3. Donate Safe Space Heaters. Every year, homes are ruined and lives lost due to fires caused by unsafe, outdated kerosene or space heaters. Purchase and donate a few child-safe space heaters to local charities.
4. Help Keep the Heat On. During cold winters, many families in poverty can’t afford to heat their homes. This year has been especially difficult due to the combination of a propane shortage in much of the country and the polar vortex cold weather pattern. Donate to local groups that pay utility bills for families in need.
5. Give Flu Foods to the Food Pantry. What do you eat when you’re sick? Many people in poverty don’t have the luxury of sending a family member out for chicken soup, crackers, ginger ale, tea, or honey. Donate these and other “flu foods” to your local food pantry.
6. Supply the Schools. Many good Samaritans donate school supplies in the autumn. But as the new semester begins, many underprivileged children have used up all of their glue, pencils, and crayons. Some kids and their school systems don’t have the resources to replenish their supplies, so give them a hand.
7. Give Tools to Maintain a Home. Without a snow shovel, you can’t clear your walk, leaving you liable for high fines. Donate snow shovels to your food pantry and other local charities.
8. Save Lives with Smoke Alarms. During the winter, people use their heaters, fireplaces, and space heaters more often. Carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms are essential for a safe home, but they’re also expensive. Donate detectors—and spare batteries—to your local food pantries and service agencies. Your generosity could save lives.
9. Give a Sled. Sleds are a big treat for any child. Make sure that no child in your community has to go without one this winter. Donate sleds, ice skates, snowboards, and other winter toys to bring joy to the children in your community.
Remember, when you donate, think winter needs. You can help people in poverty thrive during this brutal winter weather.
How do you help fight poverty in the winter months? Share your charitable giving ideas in the comments!
Image source: Flickr