So many people want to make a difference by helping people experiencing homelessness in their community, but don’t know where to start. For some, giving donations helps keep nonprofit organizations that need funding able to continue doing their amazing work, but what if you can’t give financially? There are plenty of other ways to give back for free!
One of the most direct ways to help people experiencing homelessness in your area is to volunteer your time. Nonprofit organizations can always use more hands to help do their work. A common misconception with volunteering is that there are very few things that you can do. While helping give out life saving meals is extremely helpful and important, there are a lot of other needs that nonprofits have that you could help with besides that. For The Midnight Mission, we also need help preparing for special events, sorting clothing donations, creating food boxes and hygiene kits, and so much more. No matter what your interests are, there’s a way that you can make a difference with just a few hours.
Give Other Donations
Money isn’t the only donation that helps unhoused people in your community. From kitchenware to clothes to toys, there are so many things that people in need use on a daily basis that are easily found laying around your house. If you need to purge your closet or if you’re moving and are looking to get rid of some extra items, consider donating them to a shelter so that your old possessions can make a huge difference in someone’s life.
One major thing that people experiencing homelessness encounter on a daily basis is unkind people. It can be an automatic response to completely avoid these people as you walk down the street, but it’s important to remember that they are people with thoughts and feelings just like you. Make a conscious effort to empathize with them and their situation and know that treating them as you would anyone else could make all the difference to their day.
If you’re looking for a way to help in the Los Angeles area, The Midnight Mission is always looking for people like you to help us continue our daily work. Whether you’d like to learn more about our volunteer opportunities or our gifts in kind, feel free to give us a call at (213) 624-9258. We hope to talk to you soon!