Let’s be honest, this past year is not what anyone expected. Many industries have been disrupted by COVID-19 as we all continue to adapt. One group that is near and dear to us, is nonprofits. Many nonprofits have had to either cancel their annual events or make drastic cutbacks to what they are able to provide. The good news is that we can all continue to support our communities as individuals or as part of an organization.
Building the Ideal Kit
One of the staples of community outreach is providing kits of essential items for those in need. During a normal year, kits could include school supplies for underprivileged students or personal hygiene products for the homeless. While those items are still incredibly valuable, a few key additions may be necessary.
Homeless Care Kits
When putting together a care kit for the homeless some common items to include are hygiene products, socks, snacks and a reusable water bottle. We have the privilege of working with many nonprofits and these are some of the most common items we help find for them for their projects.
With COVID-19, it’s now important to consider what additional items are necessary to help protect the homeless population. Some great items to include are a pack of masks, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes. Not having the luxury of 24/7 shelter means we need to do all we can to protect them from the virus.
School Supply Kits
Another common project for nonprofits is backpack drives for underprivileged students. We’ve worked with both schools and nonprofits for years so we always have a selection of school supplies that work for classroom shopping and outreach projects. As we know, schools are in a difficult position trying to determine the best way to navigate the 2020-2021 school year. In turn, that means many nonprofits have needed to adjust their projects based on if their local schools are fully reopening or not. Regardless, we as individuals can also chip in to provide needed supplies for students at home and in the classroom.
Along with classic school supplies, masks and PPE are essential for students returning to the classroom. Because of that, we’ve made sure to have kid-size masks available. For students at home, the needs change a bit. While they will need all the usual writing utensils and notebooks, it’s a good idea to include some puzzle books or educational toys as fun activities for the kids. Lastly, many students rely on school for some of their meals, so providing some snacks or ready-to-eat meals is extremely valuable.
Once your kit is ready to go, all that’s left is to put it in a nice backpack whether it’ll be for this school year or the next.
It’s important to remember, as these changes continue, that we are all in this together. There will always be opportunities for us to continue to help one another. Putting together a care kit for someone in need is a great way to start.