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How To Donate Items To The Homeless

How To Donate Items To The Homeless

Homelessness is a serious and growing problem in the UK. Across the country, it's estimated there are over 320,000 people without a home of their own, while the number of people sleeping rough on the streets is rising. This is something that needs to be addressed. Giving items that could be of use in one way or another is a great way to start.  

Why Donate To The Homeless?

There are many ways you can help, and donating things other than money is one of the best ideas for helping the homeless.  

Whether you have spare things lying around at home that could be put to good use, or you buy new things, donating to the right places means you can be sure you're really doing something positive. It can also be the perfect way to help if you don't have much cash to spare, but do have some extra things you don't need.  

How To Donate To The Homeless


Whether you're having a clear-out at home, or you're in a position to buy some new things to give away, most homeless charities will gladly accept donations of food and clothes. It's also really useful if you can donate duvets and sleeping bags to the homeless. Other things that are always in high demand are personal care items like toothpaste, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, baby wipes and nail clippers. Socks are usually in short supply, while things like suits or smart clothes could be used by someone going to a job interview. Charities such as Depaul UK specialise in keeping children and young people off the streets, so they'll appreciate donations of things like toys and games.

Homeless charities will often request you donate any items through them, rather than handing things out on the streets. This is because they're in a better position to disperse essential items where they're most needed.  


Homeless shelters do so much amazing work, and often rely on donations. Food is high up on their list of priorities, although they'll be happy to receive donations of things like clothes and duvets. These can be really useful both in shelters and on the streets, providing people who have to sleep rough with some much-needed warmth.  


As well as material donations, lots of shelters also heavily rely on donations of time. You can make a real difference if you decide to volunteer at a homeless shelter, whether you're helping out with kitchen duties, housekeeping or something else. Volunteering can be hugely rewarding, and you can see exactly how your time helps when you work directly with homeless people.  


For lots of us, Christmas involves time spent with family and friends, creating lasting memories and eating far too much food. For others, it's the worst time of the year. Homeless charity Crisis estimated that over 24,000 people in Britain spent Christmas 2018 sleeping rough in tents or on public transport. Whether you're donating warm clothes, volunteering at a shelter, or taking Christmas presents to a homeless charity, there are lots of things you can do. Even buying someone a hot drink or stopping for a chat could make a real difference to that person's day.

Things To Know Before You Donate

Every homeless shelter will have a policy on what they can and can't accept as donations. Your local shelter may only accept non-perishable food items, for example, so it's worth checking before you head down with a lot of donations.  

Where To Get Started

People's Postcode Lottery is proud of our player's support for some wonderful homelessness charities, including:  


Depaul UK 

Our players have raised over £17 Million for these two charities so far. Signing up to play People's Postcode Lottery can help us support deserving good causes like this.

Last updated: 05/03/2021

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