Rethinking How We Donate: Make the Biggest Impact
By Brooke Graham, Volunteer Coordinator
You may have heard a few repeating phrases this Shelter season, things like “high guest numbers,” “increased need” and “Urgent-help needed!”
We are responding to greater need from our guests stemming from record high guest counts at Shelter. With high numbers, we are seeing greater need for the services we provide: more food quantity with meals, more loads of laundry, more clothing and hygiene items requested.
This has caused us to ask: What are the items our guests need most? What items do our guests not need? How can we take advantage of the limited space we have available to house donations while making a huge impact toward meeting guest clothing needs?
With your help, we can curate the selection of items we keep in our donation room so that guests can receive what they need most, NOW! Paring down our selection to what guests need most allows us to continue to serve our homeless brothers and sisters and empower them to take advantage of community resources already available. We recognize the great work of other community non-profits who run thrift stores and community closets. This makes more physical space available in our shelter for direct guest programming and allows more volunteer time to be spent in operational service.
We know that homelessness IS hard, but your donations make it better. For this reason, we want to invite you donate your items that make the most impact! The best thing we hear from the community is: “What do you need now?”
Think durable, basic items like jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, winter coats, waterproof winter gloves, backpacks, tennis shoes, boots and undergarments. Items that are less suited to our guests’ current circumstances, like dress clothing, purses and sweaters, are best donated to a different community provider that serves a wider population. To help you partner with us, you can view a more complete list of what best helps our guests at the link below.
When selecting items to donate to St. John’s follow these “pro tips”!
- Know the list– Remember that the items on our list are what is most needed and make the biggest impact to our guests.
- Sort before you drop– Select the items on our list to donate to us, and donate any other items to a local thrift store.
- Donate from the Wish List– Our monthly wish lists highlight critical clothing, hygiene, supply and misc needs. These are often items we use daily and run out of quickly. For added ease of ordering, we also have an Amazon wish list.
- If in doubt, call ahead– If you’re unsure if your items are needed at St. John’s, call 436-9344 to speak with a volunteer or staff member who can let you know!
Why does your targeted donation matter? You are giving the greatest need. Join us in making the greatest impact!