What? Yeah. Dirty socks. And dirty sweatshirts. And holey t-shirts. And shredded, stretched out, dirty underwear. Are you totally disgusted?
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 I mean, I get if the clothes have been sitting in the back of your closet for a while and might be a little dusty or out of date.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!
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!
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.
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.