Donating to the needy should take a little more thought than reaching for that can of baked beans you're never going to eat or anything argyle in the back of your closet. As Katie Dupere writes at Mashable, Hurricane Sandy victims were quickly awash in clothing donations when what they needed was "flashlights, batteries, supplies to stay warm—not old high school T-shirts." The next time you're looking to give, think about some of these less common essentials:
- Toilet paper: Ever try living without it? Enough said.
- Tampons and feminine hygiene products: It might seem overly personal, but these are necessary, not to mention "an expensive, unavoidable monthly cost for many families."
- Your old bike: What's cluttering your garage could instead "mean a free and fast commute to and from work for a person struggling to make ends meet," writes Dupere.
- School supplies: Notebooks, pens, and pencils are especially good bets in the middle of the school year, when most people wouldn't think to donate them.
- Reusable grocery bags: You've probably got piles of them at home, and they "make carrying items a lot easier for families who might rely on public transportation or walking."
Click for the full list
. (Read more donation