When people donate, they usually think to provide food, old clothes, or money to those in need. Many times, though, there are basic necessities of everyday life that people forget about donating. Before you give back, see if places in your area will accept some of these donations.

Socks and Shoes

Shoes are a necessary part of everyday life, and in places where the weather gets cool, socks are essential for providing body heat. Socks are the least-donated clothing item, yet they’re crucial for survival in many areas. Shoes, on the other hand, may be donated a bit more. However, it may be worthwhile to donate a few different kinds of shoes, as homeless people may need more professional or practical shoes in order to find work.

Fresh Produce

We all know that canned and boxed foods are great to donate to food pantries, but what about fresh produce? It’s important for homeless people to receive the vitamins and minerals they need, and much of those essentials come from fresh foods. Check with your local food bank to determine if it is possible to donate fresh food. Then, buy the food and donate on the same day to ensure everyone is eating the freshest food possible.

Personal Hygiene Items

If you use it in the bathroom, someone will need it. Many personal hygiene items are not donated, as people do not know what to donate. Toothbrushes and toothpaste, shower poufs, and deodorant are a few items more people need. You don’t have to spend much either, as most of these items can be found at the dollar store. Just make sure whatever you buy is healthy and safe for others to use.


Everyone needs a form of transportation. For many people, riding a bus is too expensive to do indefinitely. Try donating a new or gently used bicycle to those who need a way to get around. This can be a gateway to a new life for those who are willing to work but unable to get there. Just make sure to include a helmet!

Donating clothes, money, and canned food may be the mainstream, but people need more to live a full life. Make sure to throw in some necessary items that are not frequently donated, too. Your gift will help others in ways you cannot imagine.