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The 4 Best Items To Donate To Your Homeless Shelter

March 10, 2020

Donating to a homeless shelter sounds like a great way to help those in need (and it is), but if you’re like most people, you may be unsure of what the best items are to donate. And the answer to that question can actually be surprisingly complicated.

Depending on the area of the country you live in, the season, and the homeless population in your community, the items most in need will vary. This blog will focus on donations for New England, but also include items that are helpful for donation centers across the country. Here are the 4 best items to donate to your local homeless shelter.

Fresh Socks

This item tops the list in just about any region of the country. Fresh socks are surprisingly hard to come by in homeless shelters, but they make a huge difference in the comfort level and cleanliness of the individuals. Socks become a particularly important donation in the winter time.

A quality pair of socks, particularly wool socks, can be even more impactful than the shoes an individual is wearing. If you find a sale on socks, possibly a 2 for 1, keep in mind just how much of a difference you can make by donating a pair.

A wall of socks

First- Aid Kits

Another item that isn’t restricted based on the region of the homeless shelter is First-Aid Kits. Injuries happen, and when not addressed properly, they can pose serious health risks. Even minor injuries like cuts and scrapes run the risk of getting infected, and the risks grows exponentially when considering the sanitary concerns that are coupled with being homeless.

First-Aid Kits contain most of the products needed for shelters to address the minor wounds of their community. You can also pick one up for around $25. If you’re committed to helping your local homeless shelter by donating products, First-Aid Kits are a good place to start.

First Aid Bag


One of the reasons blankets make for such an effective donation is because they have a variety of different potential uses. From staying warm in the winter time, to acting as a surface softener for comfort, a good blanket can become the best friend of a homeless individual.

You’ll need to make sure the blanket is in good condition, either new or lightly used and washed, before donating. Once you do, your local homeless shelter will be happy to accept the donation.

Two Blankets

School Supplies and Toys

When considering donations for homeless shelters, children can sometimes be a forgotten demographic. Children do end up in homeless shelters along with their families, and while shelters are prepared for this, every donation helps in improving an already tough situation for a child.

School supplies like binders, pencils, erasers, rules, and so on are all useful donations to keep children from falling behind at school. Toys are also always welcomed to help the kids break up some of the challenges of their daily lives.

A child playing with toy cars

Giving back to those in need is a noble and worthwhile effort. There are very few items that shelters wouldn’t accept, so use common sense, and consider some of the items in this blog to donate to your homeless shelter.