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Assemble Care Kits for the Homeless

Keep kits on hand to give those in need.

When you see a person who is homeless holding a sign on a street corner, are you unsure how to respond? This project can provide a big-hearted answer for your family.

Possible recipients

Anyone you encounter who is homeless and asking for help.

What you’ll need

  • Stationary

  • Pens, crayons, or markers

  • Gallon-sized resealable plastic bags or small backpacks or purses you are willing to donate

  • Essentials

Items You Might Include

  • Kleenex

  • Tooth brush and paste

  • Tissues

  • Bandages

  • Sunscreen or lotion

  • Lip balm

  • Hand wipes

  • Feminine hygiene products (especially if packing in a purse)

  • Socks

  • Gloves

  • Water or a sports drink

  • Granola bars

  • Crackers, peanut butter, and a reusable utensil

  • Dried fruit

  • Small flier directing people to receive help in your area or to call the United Way 2-1-1, which refers people to various services that can help.


Instructions

  • Create cheerful cards of encouragement for each kit

  • Fill each resealable plastic bags or gently-used backpack or purse with basic essentials.

  • Keep them in your car for an adult to hand out.

  • Set ground rules for distributing the kits. Discuss the following questions to help kids understand how the kits will be used.

    • When can we hand them out?

    • Who is in charge of handing them out?

    • What if we are feeling shy?

Reflections

  • Is it better to give people struggling with homelessness a care kit or money? Why?

  • What else can our family do to help those who are homeless?

  • What do you think would be the hardest part of not having a home?

  • If you did not have a place to live, what things would be most important to you? Where would you sleep? How would you stay clean?

Resources

Click the image above for more titles in our growing list.

Click the image above for more titles in our growing list.

  • Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting
    A simple story of a boy and his father who live in an airport terminal as they struggle to earn money to rent an apartment. Ages 4 and up.

  • The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage
    This Newbery Honor book makes it clear that family and friends are greater treasures than any objects. The story introduces us to Armand, a homeless, solitary man. He discovers a family with children living under a bridge. He cherishes what they bring to his life, yet knows he must work to find them a better home. 

Take it further

  • Kits can be fun! You may want to create hygiene kits for refugees with Church World Service or back-to-school kits for students in your area.

  • Keep learning about homelessness by getting more engaged. Pick up a shift to serve a meal at a local soup kitchen or shelter.

Still looking? Here are creative ways to raise funds for organizations that help the homeless.


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Our recommendations are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.