Friday, June 12, 2009

Charity Friday: Helping the homeless

What do you do with all the items you're replacing with upgraded registry gifts? Put them in storage or the basement for 20 years, so you can give them to the kids when they go off to college? Turn pots and bowls into decorative plant pots, and play frisbee with the plates? How about putting them to good use instead?

Ellie's father brought up a local men's shelter that he often donates used goods to. Their web site is here, but not all that detailed; here's a slightly better description from the Jewish Information and Referrals Service:
Transitional housing for 15 homeless men with chronic mental illness. Provide them with medication monitoring, psychiatric and medical care, and addiction recovery. Program offers job training, daily living skills training, disability benefits, and resources needed to obtain permanent housing and employment. Referrals accepted from case managers from county or social services agencies only. Serve 3 meals/day, shower and laundry. Accept donations of men's clothing, toiletries, clothing, cereals, condiments, other food.-call main line for info.
Open to Montgomery County residents only.
So basically, since they're setting these guys up for independent living, anything you need to fit out a small apartment - cookware, plates and cups, linens, etc. - is a helpful donation. And that list looks suspiciously similar to a list of typical registry items. So if you

Here are some similar operations in Baltimore that are looking for "in-kind" donations of this sort:
Marian House (women's transitional housing)
At Jacob's Well (Transition and permanent housing for mentally ill men and women)
Project PLASE (Baltimore transitional housing for the homeless; also accepts food.)

Please comment and let us know about any additional charities in the area that would be able to accept our somewhat gently used pots, pans, plates, sheets, towels, etc.


  1. This is exactly what we are planning to do with ours! But I have a feeling we'll be doing it through our church. We have a lot of single mothers that could probably use the free (and still nice!) stuff!

  2. That's a great idea! I'm glad you included Project PLASE. We have four transitional shelters (housing 60+ men and women) that can always use kitchen supplies, food and clothing.