Give me your tired, your poor, your dirty socks…

What? Yeah. Dirty socks. And dirty sweatshirts. And holey t-shirts. And shredded, stretched out, dirty underwear. Are you totally disgusted?

STOP! Think before you donate: Would I wear this?

Child #2 and I were. We found all these items in the donated clothes given to the shelter where we are staying. So, you really want me to dress my child in your child’s old, poop-stained underwear? Is this just to humiliate me? Well, sorry to disappoint you, but it doesn’t! It simply makes me disgusted and angry.

Those nasty, crusty, shredded things go straight in the trash, where you should have put it in the first place! What exactly is wrong with people? Honestly? I mean, I get if the clothes have been sitting in the back of your closet for a while and might be a little dusty or out of date. However, do you seriously think that anyone wants your fuzz-balled pants or any item in which the elastic has deteriorated to the point of crackling?

Now, think what someone might enjoy finding – a warm sweater, gently worn shoes, new underwear and socks, gently used bras, a warm coat. We are not asking for designer wear, people! We are asking for some dignified clothing to wear to an interview! It doesn’t have to be fancy, just solid and serviceable!

Think about donating items that can be worn to an interview.

So, please, think about it before you throw those worn out, stained, elastic – shot socks into the donation box. Turn around and put them in the garbage can instead!

It’s nice to be able to keep warm!

I’m not saying that everyone does this, or even most people, but when you sort and organize the clothing like Child #2 and I have been doing at the shelter, it’s beyond frustrating. Let’s actually try to help our fellow travelers on this planet and not use it as a place to dump your garbage.

Please consider donating the following gently used (cloth items or shoes) or new items to your local homeless shelter:

Warm coats, gloves, mittens, scarves, and boots

Pants, shirts, dresses, and jeans

Diapers, baby bottles, wipes, and blankets

Feminine hygiene products, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, soap, laundry detergent, dish soap, cleaning wipes, and paper products

Popular movies and books, coloring books, crosswords, word finds, crayons, art pads, colored pencils, and crafting supplies

Think about teaching a class on whatever your specialty is. Spend some time with the residents, or offer babysitting so that the parents can go for a job interview or do grocery shopping without bringing the whole family.

Please send prayers!

And above all, pray for us. Obviously we are struggling if we are living in a homeless shelter. We may not have everything here, but we are blessed to be here, even if we long for something better.

Published by Rita

I am a single mother, a Christian, a writer, an abuse survivor, a reader, and a friend. I've wanted to be a writer my entire life and now here I am!

2 thoughts on “Give me your tired, your poor, your dirty socks…

  1. I’ve seen disgusting things being donated, seems like people don’t or can’t empathize with people who need a hand up. Years ago a neighbor gave me rotting produce, “because you’re such a good cook, I know you can turn this into something tasty!” *cue wan smile, tepid “thank you!”* That stuff went right into the trash, not even a magic wand would have helped!

    On another note, I got myself on email lists for a couple of thrift stores in my area, so when they have sales, especially their end-of-season clearance sales, I can score big! (My daughter will shop there with the kiddos first before we hit up any other stores. The twins (15) are now price-tag and label savvy, so when they see a brand they like in their size, they feel like mighty hunters snagging a trophy!)

    I’m not in a shelter, but I’m also not earning so much money I can just blow it on clothes, plus it’s good for the environment! Often I can snag a brand-new piece, still with the tags on at those sales! Check out the stores in your area, some may be less expensive than Goodwill prices! I’m surprised at how MANY well-dressed people with nice cars shop in those stores, so I never feel embarrassed or out of place! Plus, I get to feel like a consumer!


  2. I agree! We shop Goodwill and Salvation Army tag sales, as well as local thrift stores! Child #2 and I are both dab hands at sewing/repairing so we get a lot from stuff that no one else wants! All my kiddos know how to bargain shop. That’s one bonus to being poor!


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