More often than you might expect, women shy away from help and assistance, even in the face of domestic violence and a lack of support at home. This hesitancy could be due to many factors, like fear, shame, or even the lack of knowledge about local programs that are in place for these very reasons.
Whatever the case, there are resources available that cover the basic needs of women while in these shelters. Use this list of seven things your local women’s shelter needs to help provide them with the basics while they work to get back on their feet.
One of the tenants of caring for others is making sure that they are well fed. Women seeking shelter and refuge need fresh and healthy food to sustain themselves. They might not have had a good meal for days after leaving or being evicted from their homes.
For many women, there is the possibility that they could be pregnant and need to feed their child. Both mother and child need the fundamental minerals and nutrients every day for healthy growth and development. When you’re getting the proper nutrition, you’ll feel better and have more energy. With good food, days become more productive, and it becomes easier to get through bumps in the road and see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Good nutrition matters more than anything else when you’re away from home. Many factors affect women in crisis, and some are simply beyond their control. Having the strength to tackle the day is the first step to overcoming these challenges.
Because individuals seeking help in shelters are away from home, they need basic amenities, and hygiene items should be at the top of the list. Everyone deserves access to at least the basic hygiene necessities and nothing less. These kits should cover all aspects of daily life, including dental hygiene, menstruation products, and general grooming tools. The ability to care for oneself instills confidence and comfort while also making it easier to engage with people like employees, landlords, and physicians.
Basic hygiene kits can also keep women healthy, protecting them from any unnecessary and unaffordable doctor’s bills and appointments. Medical issues can creep up on a person, especially when experiencing stress and a lack of consistent shelter, so access to products that prevent illness is vital.
As a routine, it’s always a good idea to change your linens weekly. Chances are, if you find respite at a women’s shelter, maintaining linens becomes as much of a luxury as having them in the first place.
While linens are a more expensive item to donate to your local women’s shelter, comfortable bed sheets and cozy comforters can make a world of difference for anyone. Consider donating new, unopened linen sets that can assist women during their stay in the shelter or check an essential off their list once they move into a new housing situation.
They may or may not have laundry appliances or services at the shelter, so many women in crisis find themselves spending money at local laundry mats to keep their clothing clean.
Donating laundry detergent takes care of one aspect of this costly but vital chore. It will help women feel even slightly better about their situation and potentially help open doors to things like new employment or grant approval.
Having access to a phone line is critical when you’re in a dire situation. Just having the ability to communicate with the outside world could be the reason you get out of the situation you’re currently in and move on to a better one.
Women in shelters often have friends and family who they could lose contact with entirely without access to a phone. A working phone number also gives women a chance to seek other services that will help them head toward a better outcome, especially for their living arrangements. Employers, above all else, expect people to have access to a phone these days, so donating a pre-paid phone can truly change someone’s life.
Clothing and Bags
For many women, the only clothes they can bring with them to the shelter are the garments they wear through the door. When you have extra clothing, you gain peace of mind and avoid wearing what clothes you have out to the point where they end up tattered.
If you’re looking through your closet and wondering if you can give more than just shirts and jeans, consider donating something like wholesale crossbody bags. Many women carry numerous necessities on their person, and a nice bag can make this task much easier.
Bags help women keep up with everything that they could otherwise lose track of after abruptly uprooting their lives. In most cases, there isn’t time to stop and think about every little thing that you may need, so bags and other helpful tools like these make for phenomenal women’s shelter donations.
Diapers and Wipes
It’s common for many women to have children with them, and most of the time, those children have needs as well. If they are small children, diapers and wipes are a necessity. No matter what, baby wipes are useful for people of all ages, but this donation is especially great for moms sheltering with their kids.
Children tend to get dirty, and you can never have enough wipes around. If you are donating diapers, keep in mind that there are all sizes of babies and toddlers, so it’s a good idea to purchase a variety or call ahead to ask what the shelter could use at this very moment.
If you’re considering heading to the store and picking up some supplies to donate, keep this list of seven things your local women’s shelter needs in mind. If you can give to these shelters, please do. You will be supporting a crucial cause. If you don’t have resources to give at the moment, even spreading the word about local women’s shelters can make a difference. More people need to know about local shelters so that they can seek these places of refuge.