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  • Writer's pictureThe Ideal Team

Giving back to your community

Before you know it, the winter will disappear and the spring will appear.

Focuses on giving back to others. While the winter months surrounding the holidays are a more typical time to focus on giving, the momentum usually dies by the spring. Renew your enthusiasm for service by adding some of these ideas to your calendar over the next few months.

Host a monthly drive to collect supplies or money for different community organizations in your surrounding area.

Here are a couple of charity ideas Ideal Caregivers 4u gives back to the community yearly.

1. Pet supplies for a local animal shelter

Dog and cat food Unopened bags and cans for all sizes and ages

Peanut butter - Large jars are preferred

Dog crates/cat carriers To hold and transport dogs and cats; all sizes needed

Dog beds and pillows New or gently used beds are a great comfort to dogs

Cat litter Shelters can use up to 300 pounds a week, so there's always a great demand for this product

Dog toys Washable, plastic or rubber toys are the best for shelters, as they can be sanitized and are harder for the dogs to break

Blankets As with beds, these can be new or gently used

Leashes and collars New or gently used, shelters are always looking for more

Dog shampoo The One-Kind-Fits-All kind of dog shampoo is best for the shelters, as they cater to multiple breeds of canines

Tennis balls

Non-profit organizations often run out of essential items and have to do without when they really shouldn't. So, here's a small list of needed items that can be donated:

Laundry detergent With blankets, linens and other items needing to be washed, laundry detergent is in great demand. Check with your shelter to see what kind of detergent their machines use.

Dishwashing detergent Generally, it's the liquid detergent that's needed, in order to wash the food and water bowls and the toys. If your shelter has a dishwasher, then it may need detergent for that as well.

Paper towels Shelters go through a lot of paper towels. Donating some is a simple way to help your shelter out.

Bleach and Wet Wipes Many shelters go through as much as 10 gallons of bleach a week, so this is a must.

Any brands of anti-bacterial wet wipes are needed for many parts of the shelter.

Brooms and Dustpans Brooms with plastic bristles that can be bleached as the ones that are preferred.

Metal dustpans hold up to the rigours of shelter life better than plastic ones.

Garbage bags Preferably large size, but shelters have all sizes of garbage cans and go through a lot of bags.

Latex and Nitrile gloves Go for the large size, as they tend to fit anyone. Gloves are incredibly important, as they're used for almost every purpose. Shelters go through a lot of gloves and are always looking for more.

Stock up over the spring and summer months and connect with your local veterinarian clinic to see which animal shelter is in need for the upcoming winter months.

2. Homeless shelters

There are many ways to support homeless shelters in your community. Each one may vary in the lack of supplies it’s always a good idea to call ahead and confirm which items are on your local shelter’s wish list.

Here’s some of what to add to your donation list:


Cash donations for utilities


While clothing is a common and important donation, there are many other items shelters need that are overlooked.

Remember to only give items that are in good condition – unless your donation center has a profitable recycling program or thrift store.

While secondhand products are great, certain things are either single-use or non-transferrable. If you’re financially able to donate new items, it can make a big difference.

In Need for winter:

Extra gloves, scarves, hats or coats in good condition can genuinely be life-savers in the winter.

Temperatures drop significantly, especially at night. It’s critical that people experiencing homelessness have as many layers as possible to combat it.

In addition to warm layers, everyday clothing is needed for people of all ages.


Travel shampoos, soaps and lotions are ideal as they can be distributed to individuals.

Next time you return from a trip, consider donating these products. Any hygiene product can make a huge difference. Include items like brushes (hair and teeth), nail clippers, and toothpaste in your donation.

Feminine Hygiene Products

Homeless women have limited access to items such as pads and tampons. Consider creating individual packages of tampons and pads in ziplock bags before delivering to the shelter. This will help keep the items dry for women exposed to the elements, and the bags can then be reused for storing other items. This will go a long way toward helping women experiencing homelessness.


Whether it’s for a potential interview or to keep up morale, razors can go a long way toward helping someone feel like themselves again. Throw in shaving cream as well, if you have it.


You know that feeling when you’ve been wearing socks all day and you can’t wait to take them off? Unfortunately, many homeless people don’t have the option to switch out used pairs for new ones. Picking up a pack of fresh socks can really help.


While bras can be reworn, no one should have to keep the same underwear on every day. If you see a sale on underwear at the store, consider picking up a pack to donate.

All sizes are needed for men, women and children. As for bras, if you have gently used ones you don’t need, consider bringing them to a shelter.

Diapers and Baby Wipes

It’s heartbreaking however there are families who are homeless with children, anyone who’s had an infant knows how expensive diapers can be. Plus, government assistance programs do not provide diapers, so they are desperately needed at family or emergency shelters. Help families by donating diapers to the shelter.

First-Aid Kits

Whether an act of violence or an accident, shelters need to provide first-aid products to their guests. How many times you need something like a band-aid or an ice pack. With so many obstacles faced, the need for these items is likely greater for a homeless person. Donating these basic medical supplies can help them to heal properly.


If you have extra blankets, even smaller throws that you no longer use, wash them and bring them to the shelter. A fresh, clean blanket can keep someone warm while providing them with a better night’s sleep.

Every year Ideal Caregivers 4u chooses a charity to help make a difference in people's daily lives. Look out for our charity events for 2020 and connect with us if you have anything to donate. Your kindness can make a huge difference in the lives of so many.

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