Ways to Give Back to the Homeless and Their Pets in Your Community

Ways to Give Back to the Homeless and Their Pets in Your Community

With the holiday season in full swing, you may find yourself looking at giving back to your community. While the homeless, and their pets, need support year-round, here is how you can take steps to help your community this holiday season.

Donate Money

Donating money is an easy, quick option to help your community during the hectic holiday season. This also allows shelters and programs to purchase exactly what their communities need. Cash is still very helpful to help those in need as some charities, such as food banks, get more per dollar than the average shopper as some work directly with manufacturers. There are many ways to donate electronically through a charity’s website using credit cards, EFT, and even cryptocurrency. If you’d prefer to mail a check, you can do that too.

Before donating, ensure that your gift is within your budget. While helping the homeless, and those with pets, is an important and kind gesture, you must ensure that you are living within your means. If you’re looking to save money to help those in need this holiday season, you might want to evaluate which subscriptions you pay for, compared to the ones you use the most. Between fitness, streaming, music, podcasts, and more, you might discover you’re using a lot less than you’re paying for and can save money each month by canceling. Another way to save money day-to-day is to be realistic when grocery shopping. It can be overwhelming with so many options at the supermarket that items you don’t really need wind up in your cart. Don’t risk unnecessary items going to waste! This will help you save more and give you more room in your budget for financial donations.

Donate Supplies

To help the homeless, you can also donate supplies. The items that the homeless need the most are underwear, socks, toiletries, and feminine hygiene products. If your local homeless shelter is having a clothing drive, make sure it reflects the weather of the current season. Those that live farther north that experience winter may want to donate coats, thick socks, and boots. In southern states that have hotter climates, consider donating clothes like shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, or UV protection clothes. If you want to donate supplies, make sure to call your local shelter to see what items they need the most.

Homeless people with pets have different needs that must be met as well. Not all shelters will take donations for those with pets, so make sure you find a proper donation site to donate to places that feed the pets of the homeless. Many stores have holiday sales you can take advantage of during this season. You can donate food and new, or gently used supplies at these sites for both cats and dogs, such as:

  • New dry pet food and treats
  • New canned/wet pet food
  • Opened, but taped or sealed bag, dry pet food
  • Leashes, collars, and harnesses
  • Pet shoes, blankets, and jackets
  • Beds, toys, bowls, and brushes

You can ask local veterinary offices that offer services to pets of the homeless, or those in times of financial hardship, what they need the most. By asking ahead of time, you can ensure that you are helping your community in the way it truly needs.

Donate Time

Another way to help the homeless in your community is to donate your time. This can be a great option for those with less financial resources who still want to give back. Consider bringing a volunteering day into your holiday traditions with your family. You can volunteer to help the homeless in many different ways. Help a local shelter by cooking and serving a meal. That one meal can mean the world to a person who may not know when their next meal will be. Hosting a pet food drive with your local church or neighborhood can be a fun way to get the community involved.

Another way to help the homeless is by volunteering professional skills, such as veterinary, dental, accounting, or tutoring. A big hurdle the homeless encounter is breaking out of the poverty mindset from living day-to-day. Consider hosting a financial literacy course to benefit the homeless. Having financial goals, and starting small, will help break that poverty cycle. In the course, you could start small with financial goals, such as building their credit score. This is important for people looking to get apartments on their own. Working on one’s credit is a good first step towards strong finances, which can help keep these people out of homelessness.

You can also donate your time by getting involved by organizing a fundraiser or volunteering directly with an organization helping the homeless and those with pets. See if they have ongoing volunteering opportunities to continue your service into the new year.


No matter where you are in life, there are so many steps you can take to help the homeless with pets in your area. Even just a kind smile can go a long way, as homeless people tend to face dehumanization and isolation while they are going through struggles. Any chance to help your community will last a lifetime, whether you donate your time, supplies, or money this holiday season.


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The views expressed on this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Feeding Pets of the Homeless, and Feeding Pets of the Homeless hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.