Winter is the season of giving—not only because it's filled with many holidays but also because it's a time of year when community needs are in the spotlight. From donating to food banks and clothing drives to visiting children in the hospital, you can exercise your generosity and give to others in countless ways.
One way you can support others in your community is by donating hygiene kits. Nonprofit, religious, and community organizations collect these kits to distribute to those in need when the weather cools down.
Wondering what to put in hygiene kits? Here are a few ideas to help get you started.
What Is a Hygiene Kit?
While each organization may have unique specifications around what to put in hygiene kits, the concept is the same. These packages contain basic personal care items, making them ideal donations for groups supporting families in need, unhoused populations, and even troops stationed overseas.
First, you'll need a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag to store all of the items. What you put in the hygiene kit is up to you, but common items include:
- Toothbrush, such as Tom's of Maine Whole Care Toothbrush
- Soap, such as Tom's of Maine Natural Beauty Bar
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Deodorant, such as Tom's of Maine Unscented Long Lasting Deodorant
- Comb or hairbrush
- Hand sanitizer
Adding a Personal Touch
While many personal care items are universal, personalizing your hygiene kit can make whoever receives the kit feel extra cared for. If you have any details about who it will be delivered to (such as someone living in a women's shelter), you can add a few items to the hygiene kit to help meet their needs more specifically. Some ideas include:
Unhoused Care Kits
To help individuals who are unhoused, you might include additional items like small towels, water bottles, sunscreen, or nail clippers.
Women's Hygiene Kits
Menstrual products are perfect additions to a standard personal hygiene kit.
Men's Hygiene Kits
Consider adding shaving products to the kit.
Family Needs Kits
Those with young kids especially appreciate diapers, wipes, and first aid items.
Military Care Kits
Add little tastes of home like popular candy or individual bags of snacks to brighten someone's day.
Where to Donate Hygiene Kits
Many organizations benefit from having hygiene kits on hand. Local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapters (VFWs) frequently assemble kits for those serving in the military. The Salvation Army often partners with local businesses and city departments to distribute hygiene kits to those in need, including refugees and migrants. The Red Cross also has an ongoing campaign that provides emergency kits to people impacted by disasters all over the world.
To find more opportunities to donate, you can search online, or check with nonprofits and community organizations like churches, libraries, and park districts. Calling your local city hall can also help point you toward regional groups that may have specific needs.
Supporting the Season of Giving
Now that you know what to put in hygiene kits, you can be on the lookout for good prices and holiday sales to buy in bulk to supersize your giving this holiday season.
For more ways to do good in your community this season, check out these ten ways to help for the holidays.
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Why It's Good
Hygiene kits are a great way to make the holiday about giving rather than receiving. Providing these packs can help empower people by meeting basic needs and helping them feel cared for.