Helping the homeless this holiday season: what shelters really need and how to donate

Local News

BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — During the season of giving, you might be more inclined to donate to a local shelter. While any and all donations are appreciated, some items are more necessary than others.

Lisa Tyler is the resident adviser at the Pinehaven Center in Beckley.

“We do see an influx in donations this time of year, more than any other time,” Tyler said.

The homeless population is especially vulnerable during the winter. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, on an average night in the United States, more than half a million people are homeless. Tyler said there are currently 80 residents at the shelter.

“We need really all the help we can get this time of year,” said Tyler.

There are some things shelters need more than others. Typically in the wintertime people donate things like hats and gloves, but shelters always need toiletries. Tyler said people can better help their local shelter by calling ahead to ask about their needs.

“We need toys for boys and girls, we need t-shirts all sizes, we need pajama pants all sizes, we need Christmas bags, we need ink pens, we need note pens, stamps…” Tyler said.

Things you might not have thought about, but would make all the difference.

“People in the recovery programs are here 24-hours a day, so the stationary is so they can write home and stay in touch with their families over the holidays,” said Tyler.

Tyler encourages people to donate year-round, not just during the holidays.

“You can get a donation together, call and let us know that its coming or if you want to do specific items call us and see what we need and we’ll be more than happy to accept them,” said Tyler.

To find out more about to donate or volunteer, contact Pinehaven Center at 304-255-9138

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