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FlyerTalk amenity kits for the homeless

FlyerTalk amenity kits for the homeless


Old Dec 27, 10, 5:59 pm
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I love this idea. Anyone know of homeless shelters in the LA area that would like to get some?
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Old Dec 27, 10, 6:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Seeksreal View Post
I love this idea. Anyone know of homeless shelters in the LA area that would like to get some?

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Old Dec 27, 10, 9:03 pm
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Hospice in San Francisco has been taking mine for years and always seems to need more. This might be another recipient in other cities, too.
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Old Dec 28, 10, 2:59 am
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We have several groups in the DFW area who benefit from these donations as well. One of my womens groups just spent an entire evening sorting and repackaging these for two different area homeless ministries.

One thing to note - most groups have specific repackaging needs for these - so the bags and certain contents don't always get used. Uniformity is very important so typically we are given very specific repackage instructions for kit contents. The items we always seem to run out of first are deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste. We typically cannot use all the "face care" products and bath gel and conditioner accumulate while we run out of shampoo and bar soap. We end up tossing out eye masks and ear plugs and bubble bath type items that often end up included in the donation boxes. And the kits, while nice, are also usually overstocked as we repackage in clear ziplocs.

I advise checking with your local shelter for their specific needs. I know at one ministry where I work, we run out of very basic kits weekly because of needing more deodorant. And to the poster who suggested buying full-size items - those too go unused due to specific packaging/redistribution requirements.
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Old Dec 28, 10, 4:04 am
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Food Banks usually can use these items, too. Since I rarely have too many toiletry items to give away, I usually combine them with food and give them to my local food bank.
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Old Dec 28, 10, 2:58 pm
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OP, I'm all for this and will be happy to help out. I'm in your area, near SFO/SJC.

Dropped off a moving box worth of toothbrushes, soap and other miscellaneous bottles 2 years ago. I think I may have accumulated this much (again) ... Where are you planning to drop them off? I last did it up in SF, Glide I think.
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Old Dec 28, 10, 3:36 pm
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Originally Posted by jan_az View Post
...One yr we did this in London and I think it was Masha ended up with 4 huge boxes full
I think it was the London MegaDo in 2003; that's when I started doing this. At least once every year I take a very large (and very full) shopping bag to a local shelter (it was more frequent before the liquid restrictions). I usually have items pre-sorted as sets into small ziploc bags. It's a great idea and the shelters tend to be very appreciative.
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Old Dec 29, 10, 6:20 am
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Harvest Hope Food Bank is a major food bank that serves about half of SC. From their website:

Our most needed food items include:
* canned meat and fish
* peanut butter (in plastic jars)
* canned vegetables and fruits
* breakfast cereal
* personal care items (soap, shampoo, etc.)
* any nutritionally dense foods
* frozen turkeys for our holiday boxes
Donations to Harvest Hope can be delivered to their warehouses in Columbia, Florence, and Greenville. Donations can also be dropped off at any of their food drives. And I'm sure that many of their 400+ local partner agencies would accept donations, too.

Want to find a food bank in your area? Use the locator page on Feeding America's website.
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Old Dec 29, 10, 9:53 am
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I volunteered at a Ronald McDonald House in the Lincoln Park area in Chicago and they can definitely use hotel toiletries for the families that stay there. You can also find a house that's located in your city.
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Old Dec 29, 10, 10:27 am
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It sounds like there is a strong preference for keeping it local. What would it take to have FT volunteers in major metro areas act as coordinators and collection points so that every few months these things could go to use? I suspect the FT'ers already doing things like this just skims the surface of what is possible and with a little organization we could make this mushroom.

I'm a little busy for the next day, but tomorrow I plan on really getting back to this and hammering something out.

- cheapo
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Old Dec 29, 10, 10:32 am
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I have been doing this for years. It seems I alternate between the women's shelter, homeless shelter and the food bank. Whenever I come home from a trip I sort the items, then when I have a full bag/box, bring them to the shelter.
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Old Dec 29, 10, 10:47 am
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I've been donating similar items to a women's shelter - amenity kits, bits and bobs from hotels, but also things like the freebie samples you get from fragrence counters at e.g. The Bay, and I am sure other women buy cosmetics from Clinique, Clairns, Elizabeth Arden etc, and get the 'gift with purchase items' but don't use all of them (wrong colours of lipstick, eyeshadow, wrong type of face creams etc.) Whilst I am not so sure that a homeless shelter has a need for those types of items, I know women's shelters do appreciate them, the women leave their homes with almost nothing, their confidence often shattered, and it is strange how something like putting a bright lipstick on can help.

I also always ask my dentist for a toothbrush, toothpaste and some floss - occasionally I use the toothpaste myself, but the floss and toothbrush are never the sort I really like, so those get donated too.

If you need someone in downtown Toronto to act as a drop off, I am sure I can make it work.
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Old Dec 29, 10, 11:21 am
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Don't forget the groups that work with service people. We are close to Camp Pendleton, and there is quite a need for the families.
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Old Dec 29, 10, 2:48 pm
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I am more than happy to be a coordinator for the Pittsburgh area.
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Old Dec 29, 10, 3:47 pm
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The future Mr youreadyfreddie and I dropped off two full grocery bags of shampoos, disposable razors, toothbrushes/toothpaste, etc., to the Embry Rucker Shelter in Reston, Virginia yesterday, along with a couple of plates of home-made fudge. They were very appreciative.
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