Walk into the nearest bathroom and look around. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Was there toilet paper? Chances are, the answer is yes.
Toothpaste? Soap? Shampoo? Check.
Ok. Now look under the kitchen sink.
Cleaning supplies? Paper products? Yep.
Check your sock drawer. What’s in there? Well, duh…
Most of us don’t give much thought to these household basics. But for many people items like this are hard to come by.
A lot of attention is given to feeding hungry people. And rightfully so. Food is one of the most important basic needs we have. But remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? Food is not the only physiological need.
Human beings also need to perform a certain amount of self care to maintain basic health. For many families who qualify for nutritional assistance programs like SNAP and WIC, non-food household goods are the most challenging resources to afford. Homeless and indigent individuals face even greater challenges when the lack of a permanent address prevents access to even these basic assistance programs.
For several hours every week the food pantry at our Family Resource Center is bustling with activity. But the items requested most often aren’t even edible! Items like paper products and cleaning supplies. Diapers.
Ask a homeless man what he needs the most. New socks.
Ironically, these are also some of the hardest items for us to provide. Not that we aren’t trying! A small personal care package is one way we attempt to provide for the additional needs of our homeless individuals.
You can help too! A few simple ideas to assist us in our Mission:
- Snag the sample toiletries during hotel stays…maybe even ask for extras, if you’re brave 🙂
- Buy-one-get-one sale on socks at Wal-Mart? Keep the pack you paid for! We’ll gladly accept the extra.
- Still have unopened packages of diapers your kids grew out of last year? We can make good use of them!
- Be creative! I’m sure you have lots of ideas on how to help out. And I’d love to hear all about them.