When you’re looking for ways to be kind and help others, look outside of the usual options. While it’s fine to donate your clothes to a thrift store and to give food to a food pantry, did you know that some needs are not met very well, and people could use help with these other things instead?
While there are programs that help people with food and some utilities, things like diapers, toilet paper, deodorant, and soap are not covered by these programs. While private organizations sometimes reach out to the community with these items, you can make a difference in your community if you’re willing to help someone with these practical things.
Do Their Laundry
Do you know how much it costs to do laundry at the laundromat? In some areas, it can cost upwards of $80-$100 per month. For people who don’t have laundry services in their homes, you can meet a practical need by either paying for them to do their laundry at the laundromat, letting them do their laundry at your house, or doing their laundry for them. This is such an overlooked, but important need that some people have. There are organizations now that were created to help meet this need, but if you know someone who could use the help, it’s easy enough to help them directly.
Give Them a Gift Card to Buy Undergarments
While getting clothing donations is nice, there are a few things that you always want to buy new. Getting a gift card to buy new panties, boxers, and bras can make all the difference in the world. When someone is in need, these are not the kinds of items you want to wear used. Not only is it gross, but it can also be demoralizing when someone is in crisis. Whether someone lost a home due to fire, was displaced from flooding, or had to leave an abusive situation, a gift card for some essentials can go a long way.
After Hours Childcare
The thing is, most childcare facilities are only open until 6 P.M. This is a problem for many shift workers who work outside of these hours. They need help watching their children sometimes until late into the evening and unfortunately, many assistance programs won’t cover these expenses. If you’re in the position to help, this is a huge practical need that could really impact someone. Watching their children in their home or yours can give them the freedom they need to earn a living and work toward a better future. You don’t need to do it for free either, but you could charge a lower more affordable rate to help them get back on their feet again.
Diapers and Wipes
When you have children, you know how expensive it is to keep them in diapers. While cloth diapers can work as an affordable option for some people, most daycare centers are not allowed to use them. And if you don’t have laundry facilities, it’s hard to keep them clean. Helping a family in need could look like buying them a pack of diapers to help once a month along with some wipes. This can make a big difference because there are so few programs that provide these for families in need.
Use Your Car to Help
We are all busy. We have families and plans and lives to live. But sometimes, going out of your way to help someone you know needs it can make a huge difference. When someone’s car is in the shop, you can give them a ride to work. When someone is a shut-in and has a hard time getting out, you can do their grocery shopping and deliver it for no extra charge.
Some Final Thoughts on Helping Others
There are so many ways to be a kind human, and if you’re honest, it could change your life. While it’s important to be wise, it’s also wonderful to be generous. We get what we give and if you sow generosity and kindness into someone’s life, eventually it’ll come back to you as well. If you have skills as a mechanic or handyman, there are options to use those to help people as well. None of it requires much more than being willing to hear people’s needs and then do something kind and practical to help meet them.