Want to Help the Homeless over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend? Here’s How

During Thanksgiving this year, there are hundreds of thousands of people that may not have a home to stay in or a home cooked meal. The Council of Economic Advisers found in a report in September that there are more than 500,000 people who are homeless in the U.S., and 200,000 of them are living without shelter.

Often times, people who would like to help this time of year don’t know where to begin. But there are plenty of people taking a stand against homelessness in which to contribute. On November 22, thousands of people across the U.S. participated in Sleep Out America, to raise awareness and funding for homeless youth. For Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays, there are plenty of organizations in which donate to and volunteer your time.

Ways to Contribute

The National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) states that those who want to get involved can do so by CAREing (C – Contribute (food drives, money, etc.,) A – Advocate R – Reach Out (volunteering) E – Educate). The Coalition states that the following items and services that are needed include clean clothes and household goods such as kitchen utensils, furniture, blankets, diapers, toys and books. Other organizations like The Homeless Period project provide menstrual hygiene products to women in need.

The NCH also recommends advocating for the homeless by writing, calling or visiting public officials at the city, county, state and federal levels to ask what they are doing about homelessness. To look up public officials, visit www.house.gov and www.senate.gov. To call anyone in Congress, call (202) 224-3121.

Volunteering is also a great way to help the homeless during the holiday season. To volunteer your time, there are several organizations listed on the NCH’s Directory of Local Homeless Service Organizations to consider. If you can’t volunteer, below are some charity organizations that you can donate to, according toCharity Navigator.

Charity Organizations:

Avenues for Homeless Youth Homeless Empowerment Program The Homeless Families Foundation National Coalition for the Homeless Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless Union Station Homeless Services Homeless Prenatal Program Transitions Homeless Recovery Center