The Gift of Giving: How You Can Lend a Hand to Vets in Need This Season

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At Lucky Grooming, we know that we are the lucky ones.

We’re lucky because, while we enjoy our family and loved ones and exchange presents this holiday season, there are thousands of courageous men and women who are missing out because they are overseas or across the country protecting our freedoms.

After their time in the military, many of these same men and women are still missing out on the joy of the holiday season because they are homeless and have to spend the holidays in shelters for homeless veterans.

If you’re like most people, there’s a good chance that you’ve been out and about doing last-minute gift shopping.

While you’re out, we encourage you to think about the homeless vets who are in need in your community.

And we urge you to take action.

It’s so easy to throw an extra blanket or a bar of soap in your cart to help a vet in need. And to be honest, it’s the least we can do to give back to the veterans who have given us the ability to live such blessed lives.

At Lucky Grooming, we’ve made it our commitment to give back to the men and women who serve our country year-round through donations, special giveaways, and other events.

[You can find out more about Lucky Grooming’s commitment to veterans and the active military here.]

And we invite YOU to give us a hand in supporting those who have given us so much.

Now is the perfect time to show veterans in homeless shelters how much we care about them. And one of the best ways to do this is to donate to local homeless shelters in your community.

What do shelters need this time of year? Here’s a list to help get you started…

Item #1 -- Gently Used or New Clothing

Clothing is one of the most needed items in many homeless shelters.  

This year, look through your closet and see if you have any gently used pairs of jeans, sweaters, or shirts to donate. Wash them all up, and then deliver them to your local homeless shelter.

Please make sure anything you give is in an acceptable condition without stains, holes, or tears.

Or, if you have the funds, go on a shopping trip and pick up some brand-new clothing items to donate. Jeans, t-shirts, jackets, socks, and underwear are items that are always needed.

IMPORTANT: If you decide to donate items like socks and underwear, please always purchase these items new.

Item #2 -- Soap, Shampoo, and Other Personal Hygiene Items

Many homeless shelters provide areas for people to shower and clean up. However, they don’t always have enough personal hygiene items to distribute to those in need.

Here’s a list of some of the most commonly needed items you can donate to help shelters out…

  • Bar soap
  • Body wash
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Shaving gel
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Combs
  • Brushes

Item #3 -- Blankets, Sheets, and Pillows

Many shelters provide an area with cots so people can safely spend the night indoors and out of the cold.

However, not all shelters always have enough blankets, sheets, and pillows to go around. If you have gently used sheet sets, comforters, throw blankets, and pillows, donate them to your local shelter.

We suggest you call your local shelter before you donate these items. Not all shelters provide overnight lodging. And for those that do, it’s important to find out what size bedding is needed.

Item #4 -- Money

One of the most useful gifts you can give to a shelter is a monetary donation.

Cash helps fund shelters and enables them to provide hot meals, access to showers and bathrooms, warm clothes, counseling/career services help, entertainment opportunities, and more to veterans in need.

If you’ve been financially blessed, this is an easy way to give back.

It’s always a good idea to call up your local shelter and ask what they need most. They might have physical items, but most likely they’ll tell you about new projects they need help funding.

Item #5 -- Your Time

Last, but certainly not least, we recommend you donate one of the best gifts of all--your time.

In order for shelters to run effectively, they need volunteers to help serve meals, work on construction projects, wash sheets and laundry, help with cleaning, and so much more.

Where to Give/Volunteer

Personally, the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans in Wheaton, IL is an organization that is near and dear to our hearts.

If you live in the area, check out this list for current volunteering opportunities.

If you don’t live close to this shelter, you can always give back by sending donations.  Here’s everything you need to know about donating.

And of course, if you have a favorite charity or organization in your community, give your support there!

Not sure where to go? Call around to local community centers to see who needs a helping hand!

No matter what your talents are, we promise you’ll be able to find something you can do to help out at your local shelter. And your age doesn’t matter either. Volunteering is something the whole family can do together!

Be sure to call up the shelters in your area and see what kind of volunteer help they need. Then, get your family members or friends together and go serve this holiday season.

Be thankful. Give back. And enjoy the holidays!

Holidays Homeless Veterans Homeless Vets Shelter Donations Shelters for Homeless Veterans Volunteering

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