Helping the Homeless

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I was always a charitable person. Despite growing up in a poor family, I always wanted to do charity work, volunteer and donate to others. I even won the community service award when I graduated college. Then, when my mom found a monthly homeless event in my neighborhood, I jumped at the chance to give back.

Here in Pittsburgh, PA, there is a monthly, community event that brings people together to help the homeless. One the third Saturday of every month, a few tents are propped up in a nearby park, hot food is given out and mountains of clothes are tried on. There are many smiles; many stories. There are homeless children with their parents. Homeless elderly.

My family doesn’t have much to give, but on the third Saturday of the month, we gather what we can. We hand out clothes, books and bagged lunches that I prepare myself. On a good month, we can raid a Dollar Tree for hats, gloves, peanut butter, hygiene products and activity books.

How You Can Help The Homeless

Find Organizations

A good place to start your search is through Homeless Shelter Directory.

Volunteer Your Time

Your time is really meaningful. Helping organizations with preparations, making meals, doing laundry, etc. is really appreciated.

Participate in Meetups

Find a homeless event in your area and show up with clothes and food. Going through your closets is a great way to declutter, giving it to people who need it, is a great way to give back.

Donate Resources

Charities are always in need of clothes, canned goods, plastic grocery bags, trash bags, cleaning supplies, etc. If you have an abundance at home, consider donating the excess.

Spread The Word

Give the organizations a shout out on social media. Write a blog post for them. Get your kid’s school involved.

Every little thing counts. I love giving to others that are in need. It fills me with joy knowing that I made someone else smile. I will be doing more posts like this for different types of causes. I chose homelessness first because this cause is close to my heart. When I was 15, my family was homeless for 9 months. It was my grandmother, grandfather, mother, younger brother (9) and sisters (13, 4). We had some family who graciously took us in until we got onto our feet. But, we were one step away from living out of our van.

I want my blog to inspire others to simplify their lives. And, I also want to inspire to open your hearts.

-Katelyn

P.S If you’re in the Pittsburgh area and would like to donate clothes to the homeless, please email me at katelyncresmer [at] gmail [dot] com. Any style and size is welcomed. We have men, women and children in need of clothing. Thank you 🙂

Continue this conversation on Twitter: @smplymnmllfe for minimalism inspiration and @katelyncresmer for Katelyn

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