At a time of year when most of us are thinking about spending time with family and being home for the holidays, there are many in our community who will be homeless or living in shelters. In the spirit of Mindful Giving, I would like to humbly suggest that those of us who live with abundance (or at least enough) try and spread some cheer to those in real need.
The following are some local organizations who help the homeless (or those living in shelters because of violence in their homes) who need some help this season:
- Shade Tree: The organization, which has a shelter for abused and homeless women and children as well as an animal shelter (for families who are homeless), is organizing a holiday party and needs gifts for the many moms there. They are hosting a “shopping” event on Dec. 18 for the kids to pick gifts for their moms. Click here for more details and contact info. They also really need women’s clothing and hygiene products; baby and kid items; twin bed sheets and towels; medical supplies; pet food and supplies. Find out more ways to help and their full wishlist here.
- Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth: They have a real need for some wishlist items. Our society is not kind to homeless people of any demographic, but we seem to reserve a special disdain for homeless youth. They are young. They ran away from home (presumably). Perhaps. But many fled to escape family violence or threats of bodily harm after coming out as LGBT. They are also without any means in a harsh world. They have few skills, little education and little means to provide for themselves. They’re just starting out in life, let’s give them a helping hand to get back on track. Here is the latest copy of their wishlist (PDF).
- Shine a Light and HELP of Southern Nevada: Shine a Light is a community project, which works in tandem with organizations including HELP of Southern Nevada, to do outreach to homeless people living in the tunnels under Las Vegas. The primary goal is to not just offer a hand-out but to provide people with the resources and tools they need to get out of the tunnels for good. However, during the holiday season and the colder months, volunteers go into the tunnels and flood channels to distribute supplies. To get an idea, read about their Thanksgiving in the tunnels here.