Whether it’s a serious Marie Kondo-inspired deep dive into your overstock or a more casual spruce-up, your spring cleaning and summer prep can turn into important donations to the HOPE 4 Youth Drop-In Center.
“Summer brings a new set of hurdles for young people who are experiencing homelessness,” said Director of Programs Mark McNamer. “It’s a time when youth are less likely to find indoor places to hang out or sleep. We provide a needed respite where they can hydrate, take a shower and pick up clothes and other supplies that make it easier to get through the hot weather.”
Summer stock ideas
The job market is reopening for young people, and we need work clothes: black pants for young men and women and black shoes in all sizes.
“Our youth often end up in the service industry where black pants and black shoes are part of the dress code,” said Manager of Community Engagement Nikki Kalvin. “We’re hoping donors will help replenish these must-haves for young people heading back to work.”
And even though it’s hot during the day, overnights can get chilly. Windbreakers, fleece and light jackets are great ways for young people we serve to layer up to be comfortable in different weather conditions. Stylish short-sleeve shirts, new crew-neck t-shirts, and new and used flip-flops and sandals are appreciated, as are new and used travel umbrellas and raincoats.
“Travel-size umbrellas and raincoats that can be packed in small totes are great for when the skies turn stormy,” Kalvin said. “That same umbrella can also provide a little shade and some protection from sunburn on the days when sunshine turns from uncomfortable to downright dangerous.”
Click and ship your support
If you’re an online shopper, you can help us by ordering grab-and-go summer supplies from our Amazon and Target wish lists. Individual bottles of water and Gatorade-type sports drinks are always a top need, but especially during the heat of Minnesota summers. Small cans of mosquito spray, tubes of sunscreen and lip balm also offer important protection.
“If you would pack it for camping, we can probably use it right now,” said Kalvin. “Unlike you and me, these young people don’t always have the option of heading inside when summer elements get the best of them. These supplies help make them comfortable between visits to our center.”
Fall and spring storage
Think your family will outgrow last year’s cold-weather gear before it’s time to get back into their coats, snow pants and boots? Free up space at your house by donating them now. We’ll store things until the temps drop and the snow arrives. We need new and gently used winter gear in all sizes, and we’re especially thankful for larger sizes, including XL-4XL.
Your family’s gently used sports bags and backpacks can also come in handy for the highly mobile young people who come to HOPE 4 Year for programs and services.
For more ideas on how to help us stock up, visit our Donate Items page.