What NJ’s homeless really need that you can easily give
You see them on the streets or maybe you're so used to them that you don't: the homeless people of New Jersey. Many are veterans, some at one time had everything and lost it all, each has their own unique story. All of them need our help, especially as it gets colder, and there's an easy way you can do it.
"What they really need are socks" says Caroline Scherrer who's the co-founder of People For The Poor, which helps fund homeless shelters and soup kitchens throughout South Jersey. "Believe it or not, a former homeless man addressed a social action class at Catholic University and said if he had his choice between a brand new winter coat and a brand new pair of socks, he would take the socks every time, because you can always find a way of getting warm, but if your feet are wet, if they're cold, if they have holes in them that are causing blisters, it just throws the entire body off."
Socks are so easy to keep in your car, either new ones or those used ones that are in the back of your drawer.
"I saw a homeless vet begging in the middle of the road," says Scherrer, "and I handed him two pair of socks and he started to cry saying 'you don't know what this means to me.'"
There are so many homeless vets that could use socks. Scherrer said that last Thanksgiving, she was dropping off pies at a homeless shelter for the vets called "Home For The Brave" when she was approached by one of the men there. She had a bag of women's socks with her and he asked if he could have a pair.
"I said 'yeah but they're women's socks' and he said 'I don't care,'" Scherrer said.
Other things you can give to the homeless are those bags of toothpaste and toothbrushes that you get from the dentist, as well as those little soaps and shampoos that you get from hotels. And of course, money always helps. Don't worry about what they do with it, once you give a gift, you've done your share.
Please do your share this holiday season and afterwards as well.
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