There are many ways you can make a real difference in helping the homeless population:
You can Donate, Advocate, Organize, Volunteer, and even build your own social impact business. I've found that being a part of the "moovement" to end homelessness is a two-way street. As much as you have an opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of less fortunate people, they will enrich you enormously and make your own life more purposeful and fulfilling.
Obviously, we'd love you to buy as many moosox as you can. Our matching donation will make a real impact.
But you can do much more. The homeless population has a desperate need for clean, well-fitting clothes and shoes. Rummage through your family's closets and grab everything you can. One trick my Mum uses is to hide the clothes that she doesn't think we need (including Dad's!). If no one has asked about them after a month or two, it goes into the donation basket!
Don't limit yourself to clothes. Books, Computers, First Aid Kits, Toys, Games and so much more can make a massive difference in the lives of families who have to spend their precious financial resources on the essentials of food, and shelter.
If we all use our voices to highlight the problems and plight of the homeless population, it will create a wave of support to, hopefully, end this societal problem. Talk about it at the dinner table, with friends. Write letters to your local county officials and members of Congress - ask them what they are doing, and what they plan to do, to help.
Keep learning about the root causes of homelessness and then use your insight to educate others. Try and help everyone you come into contact with "see" homeless people differently - with an understanding of how it comes about, how it impacts their lives, and how the wealth gap is a massive contributor to the problem. And then, of course, talk about the things they can do to help.
Take donations to a whole new level by creating groups who work together to do the "extra-ordinary".
If you are a student, recruit your fellow students and organize a clothing drive or a food drive. Or do a sponsored walk to raise funds for shelters. It will be both fun and rewarding.
If you are a parent, grab your friends and do the same. Pull your kids into the activities so their eyes can be opened and they can enjoy the gift of service. You will love the mix of social events and purpose.
If you are a business person, be an activist. Try and persuade your business to directly help their community. Businesses that are active in helping their community also benefit from being much more attractive to employees.
One of the best ways to both learn and help is to dedicate some of your time to a local shelter or homeless support agency.
There is a lot of work that needs to be done "behind the scenes", such as sorting, organizing, and filing as well as on the front line - directly with homeless people; serving meals, talking, supporting, and helping with their day to day needs. Without volunteers, these organizations would come to a grinding halt. Consider being an "After School Buddy" to help children deal with homelessness. Outside of shelters, there are also many opportunities to use your skills and passions to help others. For example, I had a blast this summer, coaching kids tennis at Grassroots Tennis and Education. Some of the kids are dealing with great hardships and, for a few hours each day, they can forget their troubles. I teach them tennis. They teach me life lessons about resilience.
In CT, get in touch with Erin at email@example.com or 203-866-1057 x129 to find out ways you can volunteer.
Building a Social Impact Business
Another way to make a meaningful difference in your community is to build a "social impact business". It could be a buy one-donate one model like moosox, or a percentage of revenues or profits (like TOMS).
It's a very cool way of learning how to build a business, alongside the incredible rewards of directly helping those in need.
If you have an idea you would like to brainstorm with us, ping us an email. My Dad and I would be happy to help, if we can.