This winter has been especially brutal in many parts of the United States. Some areas are seeing record high amounts of snowfall and all-time low temperatures — some even dropping into the negatives. As a result, Americans with even the coziest of homes are finding themselves bundling up and turning up the heat in order to fight off the cold.
However, there are also millions of Americans who don’t have the luxury of a comfortable home. Some are struggling to pay high-priced heating bills, and others might not have the budget for a new coat or boots. For these individuals, cold weather comes with an increased cost of living that some are unable to manage.
Fortunately, there are ways of helping families in need during the winter — especially those with these struggles. Here are three solutions you can use to help families in your area:
1. Give food donations to food banks and shelters. One of the biggest things that people rely on during the winter is food. Access can be a problem in the wintertime for families that don’t own their own cars. If they have to walk to a supermarket or grocer, the cold weather and unshoveled sidewalks can make taking groceries back home incredibly difficult. Make sure to give non-perishable items, canned or boxed foods, and other foods to charities in your area.
2. Donate clothing to charity organizations. New and used clothing donations are some of the most beneficial ways to help families and individuals in need. Clothing donations are typically collected by charities that sell excess clothing in secondhand shops or recycle it, but many of their donations also go directly to people in need. Find out which charities in your area are doing the most good with clothing donations, and then get to work cleaning out your closet.
3. Find out about other programs in your area that focus on helping families in need. Many charities and churches also host programs that can help you sponsor an individual family. This allows you to gather items for a specific family, so you can meet their needs. Many families that have special needs, such as a disabled family member, also rely on these services, so it’s important to see if you can give anything that will help a family get through the winter.
Many people think of charitable giving as a large expense or something that takes a lot of time out of the day. But the truth is that every little bit counts, and there is no donation that is too small to make an impact. Whether you’re cleaning out your pantry or closet or shopping for specific items, you can make a difference in someone’s life through your donations. Want other suggestions for helping families in need? Leave a comment below. Find out more here.