How to Make a Care Bag for the Homeless

by Jennifer Pinto
Along with donating care bags to homeless shelters, volunteer your time at the shelter as well.

Along with donating care bags to homeless shelters, volunteer your time at the shelter as well.

Homeless people often rely on the generosity of strangers and nonprofit organizations for assistance when they lack a roof over their heads. Giving care bags to the homeless can supply these individuals with items that may be difficult to come across and provide a touch of kindness during a period of their life when they need it the most. While it may not be feasible to wander the streets looking for homeless recipients for your care bags, you can donate your packaged items to local homeless shelters.

Contact area homeless shelters to determine how many care bags will need to be made.

Create piles out of similar items that will go into the care bag, and line them up in a row across a table or the floor.

Take one of each item as you go down the line, and place it in the resealable bag.

Seal the bag securely, and place it in a sturdy box or tote for convenient transport.

Repeat the process until you have completed making all your care bags.

Set up a time and date in which you personally can hand over the care bags to officials who run the homeless shelter.

Tips

  • Purchase bulk toys at a party-supply store or at a dollar store, and place a toy in specially marked care bags that will go to children. Likewise, designate certain bags for women, and include sanitary napkins for their use.
  • Consider holding a fundraiser to help pay for all the items you are donating. The more money you can raise, the more care bags you can make or the more generous the gift certificates can be.
  • Ask the homeless shelters if there are certain items that are needed more than others, and adjust the contents of the care bag accordingly.
  • If you choose to hand out your care bags to the homeless who live on the streets, create an additional bag that suits the needs of these individuals. Fill another bag with various canned foods with pull-tab lids, a couple juice boxes, hand towels, socks, a scarf and bandages.

Warning

  • If you choose to hand out your care bags to the homeless who live on the streets, travel with a group to ensure your safety. Certain homeless individuals may have mental-health issues or substance-abuse problems.

Items you will need

  • Travel-size toiletries, such as shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, bar soap and toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Combs
  • Disposable razors
  • Nail clippers
  • Bandages
  • Multiple resealable plastic bags, gallon size
  • Sturdy boxes or totes
  • Gift certificates to local eateries (optional)

About the Author

Jennifer Pinto has been an editor and reporter since 1999, working with newspapers in the Midwest and on the East Coast. She serves as a contributor for several print and online publications, covering business, real estate, religion, home improvement and interior design. Pinto earned her B.A. in English and psychology at Northern Illinois University.

Photo Credits

  • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images