Holiday Donation Suggestions

The holidays are upon us and this is a time when many people may think of our community members who are in need: community members with little support and resources, community members who aren’t food or housing secure. If you’re reading this, you probably have a desire to help people who are vulnerable, to provide support for those who are in need of it. Put simply, you’re invested in making a positive change in our community. One Roof wants to equip and empower you to do that in an effective, constructive way that will directly contribute to the stability of some of the most vulnerable members of our community. Here are some ways you can help:

Donate to First Light, which provides emergency shelter and permanent supportive housing to women and children.

  • Volunteers usually sign up to either provide a meal or become overnight volunteers, so First Light does not need “helpers” for meals and such.
  • Dinner volunteer opportunities are open now for January – June, 2014.
  • Donate items from their year-round Budget-Relieving Wish List, some of which are below:
    • Office Products
      • Copy paper
      • Ink pens, white-out, highlighters
      • Manila envelopes for larger mailings
    • Cleaning/Laundry Products
      • Disinfectant cleaners, Windex or other hard surface cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, and toilet bowl brushes
      • Powder laundry detergent, bleach
      • Cleaning cloths
    • Food and Kitchen Supplies
      • Breakfast foods
      • Disposable paper goods
      • Coffee, creamer, and sugar
    • Program Supplies
      • Snacks for group therapy
    • Personal Items
      • Women’s underwear (all sizes needed)
      • Women’s deodorant, hair care products of all kinds, travel-size shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, soap, and lotion
      • Toothbrushes
      • Alcohol-free mouthwash
      • Razors and shaving cream
      • Over-the-counter pain relievers (please non-drowsy, alcohol-free, pseudoephedrine-free)
      • Weekly pill organizers
      • Makeup of all shades and kinds
      • Chapstick
      • Socks
    • Sponsor a woman moving into permanent housing
      • Sponsor a kitchen:
        • Kitchen towels and pot holders
        • Broom, mop, and dustpan
        • Pots, pans, serving utensils, silverware, dishes, glasses
        • Small toaster and small coffee pot
        • Garbage can and garbage bags (food stamps do not cover paper products or cleaning products)
        • All-purpose cleaning products and dishwashing liquid
      • Sponsor a bathroom:
        • Bath rug, shower curtain, shower curtain rings, wash cloths/hand towels/bath towels
        • Small garbage can with garbage bags
        • Laundry basket
        • Hand soap and/or dispenser
        • All-purpose bathroom cleaner, toilet brush
        • Plunger
      • Donate gift cards First Light can use when assisting the ladies with their move
  • Monetary contributions help sustain the day-to-day operation of the shelter and are always appreciated.
  • First Light does not need any more toys for children.

 

Donate to The Firehouse Shelter, which provides street outreach, emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, and affordable housing for men. Day shelter services include showers, laundry, and hot lunches. They need the following:

  • Deodorant
  • Razors
  • Shampoo
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Toboggans / skull caps
  • Gloves
  • Laundry detergent
  • Gift cards
  • Monetary contributions help sustain the day-to-day operation of the shelter and are always appreciated.

 

Donate to The YWCA of Central Alabama, which provides domestic violence services, emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, and affordable housing for families, single women, and women with children. Here are their needs:

  • Santa’s Workshop Target Wish List
  • Santa’s Workshop Amazon Wish List
  • Santa’s Workshop Wish List
    • Art Supplies, Coloring Books, Crayons, Markers and Playdough
    • Baby Items and Infant Toys
    • Backpacks (mesh) and Purses
    • Batteries (all sizes)
    • Blue Jeans
    • Books (for all ages)
    • Fast Food Gift Certificates
    • Remote Control Cars
    • Portable CD Players and CDs
    • Coats, Scarves, Gloves and Other Warm Clothing
    • Jewelry, Hair Accessories, Nail Polish and Accessories
    • Sports Equipment—Footballs, Basketballs, etc.
    • Stuffed Animals, Dolls and Doll Clothes
    • Toys, Board Games, Cards, Card Games and Puzzles
    • Socks and Shoes
  • Gifts for teens (nonviolent in nature)
  • Clothing for children

 

Donate to Pathways, which provides a day center for women where they can shower, do laundry, have a hot lunch, and participate in supportive services; transitional housing to single women and women with children; and the only Safe Haven for severely mentally ill women in our area. They need:

  • Bath towels and wash cloths
  • New women’s underwear sizes 5-10 or small-2XL, new socks, new bras (all sizes, especially large sizes)
  • New underwear, undershirts, & socks for children (all sizes)
  • Toiletries (soap, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, and black hair care products)
  • New, unopened feminine hygiene products (pads, panty liners, tampons)
  • Jackets
  • Hats, gloves, and scarves
  • Sneakers (all sizes)
  • Jeans
  • Black & Khaki work pants

Pathways is also in need of home furnishings for women who are moving into their transitional housing:

  • Rugs
  • Window treatments and blinds
  • Towels
  • Mattresses, box springs, and bed frames
  • Nights stands and coffee tables
  • Shower curtains and bath mats
  • Bedding

 

Donate to Church of the Reconciler. Their services include breakfast, a clothes closet, hygiene kits, Bible study, and AA/NA meetings. They need:

  • Hats
  • Scarves
  • Gloves
  • Blankets
  • Socks
  • Coats
  • Hygiene products (deodorant, toothpaste, razors, etc)

 

Donate to Family Promise of Birmingham, which provides emergency shelter for families. They need:

  • Wal-Mart gift cards
  • Target gift cards
  • Gasoline gift cards
  • Grocery store gift cards
  • Hats, scarves, and gloves
  • Clear or mesh back packs
  • Paper products (paper towels, toilet tissue, paper plates)
  • Trash bags: kitchen size or larger
  • Full-size hygiene items (shampoo, deodorant, razors, shaving cream, tampons, etc)
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Laundry soap, laundry baskets, dryer sheets, bleach
  • AA or AAA batteries

 

Donate to Shelby Emergency Assistance, which provides rental and utility assistance, financial assistance for doctor visits and prescription drugs, budgeting services, GED prep, job search services, school supplies, and food boxes. Here are their needs:

  • Stocking Stuffer Christmas List:
    • Gas cards
    • Grocery gift cards (Publix, Piggly Wiggly, Wal-Mart, etc)
    • Toiletries (soap, toilet paper, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, diapers,
      baby wipes, feminine products, etc)
    • Home Cleaning Supplies (laundry detergent, dish detergent, Lysol, paper
      towels)

 

Donate to Changed Lives Christian Center, which provides transitional housing for men. They also run the Nest medical clinic, which provides free medical services to persons experiencing homelessness. Here are some ways to give to CLCC (for a complete list, visit here):

  • Visit www.cl-cc.org and sign up to financially support CLCC’s “Almost Home Fund.” Any amount helps.
  • Create Care Packages for New Residents (call for list of items).
  • Advocate:
    • Have lunch at CLCC, Monday – Friday at 11:30 am.
    • Have your employer sponsor a table at CLCC’s annual Leadership Luncheon.
    • Like and share CLCC’s work on Facebook.
    • Assist CLCC in developing relationships with responsible employers for residents.
  • Volunteer:
    • Serve one night/weekend a month and feed the residents of CLCC.
    • Mentor (men only): Encourage one or more residents on a weekly basis.
    • Answer phones, cook, or drive for our residents.
    • Pick men up for church.
  • Give paper and cleaning products.
  • Give breakfast, lunch, and dinner meats.
  • Donate a gently used vehicle. One of CLCC’s greatest needs is maintaining their fleet of vehicles that get their residents to work.
  • Donate lawnmowers/weed-eaters/tools/shop-vac/air-compressor
  • Help stock the Give A Bible/Take A Bible section of our library.
  • Help on Medical Night with THE NEST (4th Tuesday of the month). Help sort medications for Medical Night (Saturday prior to the 4th Tuesday of the month).

 

Donate to SafeHouse of Shelby County, which provides emergency shelter, transitional housing, and counseling for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.

  • Give items from SafeHouse’s Holiday Wish List, including:
    • Gifts for children in pre-school:
      • Fisher-Price Little People and Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Toys
      • Vtech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Cars
      • Mr. Potato Head
      • Vtech Alphabet Activity Cube
      • Mega Bloks
    • Gifts for children in elementary school:
      • Hot Wheels
      • Easy Bake Oven
      • Razor Scooter, tricycle, bicycle, and bike helmet
      • Lincoln Logs
      • Legos
      • Fisher Price Basketball Goal
      • Marvel Hero Series Figurine
      • Underwear/Socks/T-shirts all sizes
      • Journey Girls Dolls, Baby Alive Dolls, Lalaloopsy Dolls, and Cabbage Patch Dolls
      • Littlest Pet Shop
      • T-ball Set
      • Transformers
      • Games: Operation, Connect Four, Trouble, Chinese Checkers, Simon, Uno Attack, Battleship, Twister
      • Books: Junie B. Jones; Diary of a Wimpy Kid; Lord of the Rings; Purplicious; Sofia the First; Dr. Seuss; Big Nate; Chronicles of Narnia
      • Play Cash Register
      • DVDs: Monsters University; How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Dora the Explorer; Ice Age
    • Gifts for middle and high school youth:
      • Sports equipment: football, basketball, baseball and glove, baseball bat, and soccer ball
      • Handheld Video Games
      • Nintendo DS
      • Boombox
      • Chess
      • Mp3 Player
      • Digital Camera
      • Skateboard
      • Helmet
      • Bicycle
      • Purse
      • Alabama/Auburn T-shirt
      • Jewelry
      • Underwear/Socks/T-shirts all sizes
    • Gifts for mothers:
      • Ladies Coats, All Sizes
      • Bath/Lotion Basket
      • Slippers
      • Make-up Set
      • Manicure Kit
      • Jewelry
      • Robes
      • Throw Blanket
      • Jewelry Box
      • Scarf
      • Perfume
      • Pajama Set
      • Cardigan Sweater

 

Donate to One Roof. Our mission is to equip and empower our community to prevent and end homelessness in Central Alabama through advocacy, education, and coordination of services. Our needs are:

  • White copy paper
  • Goldenrod colored paper (8.5” x 11”)
  • Ink pens
  • General office supplies
  • Monetary donations will directly support Project Homeless Connect. PHC is an annual event where over 60 non-profit, government, and social service agencies collaborate in one location to present homeless citizens with as many necessary services as possible, including eye care, oral care, physicals, social security, identification, and other services.

 

Special notes:

  • All underwear, undershirts, bras, and socks should be new and unopened. Because the population our agencies serve is always changing, call ahead to ask about sizes needed.
  • All feminine hygiene products should be new, unopened, and purchased within the last six months.
  • All hygiene products (skin care, hair care, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc.) should be new, unopened, and purchased within the last six months. Contact service providers to determine whether they prefer full-size or travel-size hygiene products.
  • Our homeless population is very diverse. When buying toys and books, be sure to include representations of people of color.

 

One Roof and our member agencies are dedicated to helping some of the most vulnerable members of our community. At One Roof, we are fiercely committed to preventing and ending homelessness through education, advocacy, and coordination of services. We believe in what we do and we support our member agencies as they work with limited resources to help persons experiencing homelessness feel safe, gain stability and security, and obtain affordable housing. As always, we’re here to help. Please contact us with any questions or for help finding places to donate or volunteer.

 

Josh Helms is an AmeriCorps member serving at One Roof as the Capacity Building Assistant.

 

 

 

 

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