How to make stockings for the homeless (Unhoused) – Service Project Idea

If you’re looking for a holiday service project to do with the family, I recommend making stockings for the homeless (unhoused). Our family has done this for years and has always had a good experience. Here are some ideas for both practical and delightful items to add to the stockings (includes a printable list of item ideas).
I started Money Fit Moms to help families improve their finances. My deeper goal was to help families attain financial freedom to take care of themselves and others. In addition to this holiday service project, we also donate to local, national, and international charities that benefit vulnerable populations.
Family Service Project - Stockings for the homeless

IDEAS: What items should I add to stockings for the homeless (unhoused)

Here are some ideas of things we’ve added to our stockings, plus some great ideas I got from other Money Fit Moms on Instagram.

Ideas for PRACTICAL ITEMS to include in stockings for the homeless:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Baby wipes
  • Mask (this was our 2020 pandemic addition)
  • Toothbrush with cover (we found this at the dollar store)
  • Toothpaste
  • Poncho
  • Garbage bags
  • Gallon ziplock bags
  • Nail clippers
  • Sunblock
  • Beanie
  • Hand warmers
  • Chapstick
  • Bandaids
  • Small brush/comb
  • Gloves
  • Deodorant
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Gifts cards or cash
  • Weatherproof socks

Socks for the homeless

Every year, we include high quality, weatherproof socks to our stockings. We usually buy a multi-pack from Costco who sells some nice weatherproof socks.

Weatherproof Socks from Amazon

Amazon also has some a nice 4-pack of highly-rated, quality weatherproof socks.

Stocking for Homeless - Service Project Idea-6

Stocking for Homeless - Service Project Idea-6

Stockings for the homeless – DELIGHTFUL AND FESTIVE ITEM IDEAS

  • A Christmas stocking (The Dollar Store sells cute stockings for only $1)
  • Chocolate candy or other treats
  • Fig bars or another nonperishable bar
  • Orange (such a classic stocking item that reminds me of childhood)
  • Card of love and goodwill
  • Gift card or cash (we often do McDonald’s Gift Cards because there are so many locations)

Stocking for Homeless - Service Project Idea- include cash or gift card

Family Service Project - Stockings for the homeless

Printable for items to add to stockings for the homeless (unhoused)

Why making stockings for the homeless (unhoused) has been a great service project

  • Helps people – The most important and obvious reason is that it helps other people. We also take the opportunity to explain to our children that life is not always fair — although we work hard, we have been given a lot of advantages in life. Others aren’t as fortunate and we think it’s important to help others.
  • Practices empathy – We ask our kids how they would feel if they did not have a home. When put that way, they realize that helping others is important.
  • Builds family bond – This a great family service project because everyone can help. Even when our youngest was a little toddler, he loved being part of the stocking-stuffing assembly line.

Family Service Project - Stockings for the homeless

In the past, people have asked how we found people without housing. Unfortunately, housing is extremely expensive here so it’s not hard. This year, it will be as easy as walking down the street. In past years, we’ve driven around to find people to deliver the stockings to. I’ll never forget handing the stocking to a man who did not have shoes. People have always been so delighted and appreciative.

What other items do you recommend added to our stockings for the homeless (unhoused)?
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