Homelessness has grown close to my heart over the last few years as I have been struck by how easily it can happen to any of us. Through my conversations with those that are suffering from lack of shelter I have learned so much and been enriched by their knowledge and their stories. It is my hope that everyone will one day be able to look at those who are impoverished and without homes the same as they would look at anyone else, with dignity and respect.
If you have any of the following lying around I would love to turn them into gifts for the less fortunate: purses, backpacks (even the drawstring kind you get at events), holiday stockings, soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste (preferably travel/sample size but full size is ok too) toothbrushes, women's sanitary products, socks, hats, scarves, mittens (any of these can be used, or hand made. They do not have to be store bought), flashlights, batteries, small toys (no larger than a fist), paperback books, refillable water bottles, small candles, small blankets, new or very gently used clothing, anything that fits in the palm of your hand that would be a good gift for an adult, body spray, pens, pencils, and notepads.
If you have something you'd like to donate email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange for pickup/dropoff or shipping.
Most importantly if you make a donation I'd love for you to write a personal note. One that I have included in the past read:
"Whether surrounded by friends and family, or spending it alone I hope your holiday season is full of little things that bring you joy. You are important. You are special. You are loved. I will be thinking of you."
I'll be buying candy to put in there as well as supplementing any of the things I don't get donated by buying in bulk as the holiday season draws closer. If you would like to donate funds rather than items I would appreciate it greatly. You can do so here. Please add a note that it's for my holiday project, and if you'd like for me to write a card for you what you would like it to say.
I plan to be making drops at Orlando Union Rescue Mission, Covenant House, and the Health Care Center for the Homeless as well as distributing to some of the homeless men and women I know from around town.