sale-3752765_1920Cyber Mondays’s eve and Wilson is thinking of donating to those in need and how you need a bin.

By Wilson

Its that time of year again. Shopping and giving happening all over for the next month or so. Black Friday has past and I’m writing this on Cyber Mondays’ eve. The first thing you need to do at the beginning of the season is to buy a good-sized storage tub with a top.

Yes. If you haven’t done it yet, you need to go out and get one.

With all the things going on at this time of year this may not be of the top of you list as important, but it can help you and others at the same time.

If I haven’t revealed it yet, I am a scavenger by nature.  I’m always on the hunt for bargains for myself and others. With the holidays, there are bargains and we are taught to think of those in need. This being the time of giving also that is were the bin comes into play.

In the northern hemisphere, it is winter time, so the poor and the homeless are in need of things to help them stay warm.  One of the things I like to shop for is those stretch gloves. What happens to these gloves, they go into the bin to give the needy this year or next if I find a bargain later in the season.  Once I had a man complain that the gloves were not the thing to give to a person and was buying a pair of $20.00 fitted gloves to donate to those that live on the street. I say 20 $1.00 stretch gloves they are perfect and help more people. Why? They fit anyone for the most part and being a Chicagoan, I know the importance of layering. We had 4 inches of snow 2 weeks ago.  Almost shorts weather a couple of days later. Right now it is raining which is to change into snow tonight. The stretch gloves can be layered over each other. I can afford to buy myself more expensive gloves and lose one within a week. But knowing people that work and play in the cold are taught to wear multiple pairs of socks, carrying extras along if they are going to be out for a long time.  They take off the wet layer and keep a dry layer next to their skin. It works the same with gloves. I do it and taught my kids to do it too. Socks, thin knit caps, nylons (one of the best ways keep warm on the cheap, wearing under your pants) are others things that goes into the bin with the idea of layering in mind.

Other things that are on sale currently that go in the bin are undies and scarfs.  Think about it. The only time of year scarfs are in sale is during the winter, and while used clothes do just as well to keep you warm, it’s just gross to were another person’s undies.

Other things that go in the bin are the samples of personal products are handed out at this time of year, hoping to win you as a customer.  Going out of town? Pack your own toiletries and before the maid comes pack away the small commentary ones. For many of the homeless, the sample size is all they can really carry around. Once I was with a friend when we were shopping for things to give to a homeless shelter that moved nightly.  She started to put a giant size shampoo into her cart until I pointed out, there was no showers in the shelter and a homeless person was going to carry around a quart sized bottle for the 3 months it would take to use it. In other words, think of size.

Same thing with food for the needy.  Yes, that giant sized jar of applesauce is great for a family of 5 or soup kitchen, but a small jar or single serving pack is better for a single person or a couple.  I love applesauce, but I don’t want to eat it for every meal in a week. But that doesn’t go into the bin, so back on subject.

As you get gifts over the holidays, be sure to smile and thank your friends and family for all their thoughtful gifts. This is where the bin comes into play for after the holiday season use or next years donations.  That Christmas mug you got filled with chocolate kisses given by your cousin that didn’t know you changed to Judaism when you married can be donated to an organization helps poor children to get or put together gifts for there loved ones, after you have eaten the chocolate kisses .  The socks you would never wear can go to the homeless shelter. This part may sound a little jaded, but you know yourself. If you don’t like knee high socks, you don’t like them. Find someone else that does. Be sure to let your love one know they are getting good use, just don’t tell them be who.

If you are getting toys for the homeless, think before you buy.  The toys should be solid, not a lot of pieces to keep track of, easy to carry, not noisy and hopefully no batteries.  The parents are doing their best to care for their children in a bad situation, don’t make things harder with a toy that is too much too deal with or they can’t afford the up keep.  Uno and other card games are great. Stuffed animals are one of those things you may find yourself the recipient of during the course of the year (claw machine, in cups gifted to you, etc.) and can go into the bin at any time.

Backpacks, bags, purses and lunch boxes, new and used in good condition go into the bin over the year. Homeless always need to carry their stuff with them.  One man that I’ve in the community I live, I’ve seen and heard around is a little mentally ill and even through family would take him in, he won’t live with any one. The one thing he has that he allowed them to outfit him with is a good hiking backpack and it allows him to live on the go with all the things he needs at all times, giving them a little peace of mind about his choice.

Please do some research.  Go to your favorite search engine and put in what to donate and you will get many ideas of things that can be needed. There are things you would not think of like thumb drives and old cell phones.  One of the places many homeless go to during their day is the public library to use their computers. Thumbs drives allows them to save where they normally can’t. In my scavenging, I’ve found company’s giving swag like thumb drives and earbuds with their name on to promote their business.  You will find me being greedy at these company’s booths getting useful stuff to go in my bin. Once I managed to get a case full of free books to send to an African school, in a student teachers’ luggage, over a three day weekend. HEHEHE

So give well to your friends and family, shop sales and buy extra to throw into your bin, and think of ways you can help.  If I had more money I would be giving cash to more charities, instead I use my scavenging skills to use to spread my charity dollar by finding sales and such.

BTW.  Hide your bin just in case your cousin comes over.