Donation Gift Ideas for Each Month of the Year

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I’ve been working and volunteering with charitable organizations since I was 15 years old. I’ve worked with homeless families, street kids, a food pantry and an emergency assistance charitable organization. Through those experiences, I’ve seen first-hand what in-crisis families really need and what charitable organizations need to receive as donations. Last year I put together a donation theme for each month of the year to help my church focus on what to donate each month. This list of donation gift ideas was so successful, I thought you might find it useful, too. You can use this donation ideas list for your own family, for a scout troop, youth group or church group to help guide the donations you collect. You could use these ideas for practicing random acts of kindness

man wearing hat that says "love your neighbor"

I know from my own experience and from talking with friends, that often we sincerely want to donate to help other in our community, but we’re not sure what items are most useful. I also know from working at charitable organizations that many well-intentioned items are donated when there are other items that are needed more and rarely received. Once you’re aware of what is most needed at charitable organizations, you can focus on donating those items. To make donating a bit more targeted, you can focus each month on a different donation theme.

Donation Gift Ideas for Each Month of the Year

January – A Fresh New Year 

  • Cleaning Supplies
    • Mop 
    • Broom
    • Dust Cloth
    • Sponges
    • Paper Towels
    • Floor Cleaner
    • Glass Cleaner
    • All-Purpose Cleaner
    • Scouring Powder
  • Dish and Laundry
    • Dish Soap
    • Dish Cloth
    • Dish Sponges
    • Dish Towel
    • Laundry Soap 
    • Mop
    • Broom
    • Dust Cloth
    • Bucket

February – Souper Bowl

  • Soup
    • Choose soups that include meat and make a complete meal.
  • Chili
  • Stew
  • Crackers
  • Rice
  • Noodles

March – Marching Ahead

  • Socks
  • Tights
  • Shoes
    • Choose sturdy, versatile shoes
      • Tennis Shoes
      • Work Boots
      • Sturdy Shoes
      • Flip Flops
  • MoleSkin
  • Foot Powder
  • Foot Spray
  • Bandages
  • Nail Clippers

April – April Showers

  • Soap
  • Wash Cloths
  • Body Wash
  • Shower Sponge
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Face Soap
  • Hand Soap

May – Mothers’ and Women’s Month

  • Female Hygiene Items
    • Tampons
    • Pads
    • Panty Liners
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Hair Brush
  • Comb
  • Hair Bands 
  • Hair Clips
  • Barrettes
  • Razor
  • Lotion
  • Face Lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • Perfume
    • Choose small bottles

June – Fathers’ and Men’s Month

  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Comb
  • Razor
  • Shaving Cream
  • Face Lotion
  • Lotion
  • Sunscreen

July – Kids at Home

  • Cereal
  • Breakfast Pastries
  • Frozen Waffles
  • Syrup
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly
  • Lunch Meat
  • Sliced Cheese
  • Bread
  • Packaged Lunch Items
  • Snacks
    • Granola Bars
    • Trail Mix
    • Crackers
    • Cheese
    • Applesauce

August – Hot Summer Days

  • Bottled Water
  • Fruit Juice
  • Powdered Milk 
  • Flavored Drinks
  • Ice Tea

September – Back to School

  • School Supplies
  • Backpacks
  • Calculator
  • Children’s Picture Books for Younger Children
  • Children’s Fiction Books for School-Age Children
  • Fresh Fruit (Check with the food pantry organization to make sure they can accept fresh fruit.)
  • Canned Fruit
  • Dried Fruit
  • Applesauce

October – Treats and Dental Care

  • Fruit Snacks
  • Beef Jerky
  • Apple Sauce
  • Dried Fruit
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental Floss
  • Toothbrush Cases (for transient families)

November – Family Meals

  • Canned Meat
  • Pasta Noodles
  • Spaghetti and Spaghetti Sauce
  • Shelf-stable Meals
  • Frozen Meals (Check with the food pantry organization to make sure they can accept frozen items.)
  • Can Openers

December – Baby It’s Cold Outside

  • Hats
  • Gloves
  • Scarves
  • Ear Muffs
  • Warm Socks
  • Hand Warmers
  • Lip Balm
  • Hand Lotion

I hope to see you dropping of donation gift ideas at your local charitable organization next month and the month after and the month after. Are there any items that I need to add to this list of suggested donation items?

man wearing brown and gold hat that says "love your neighbor"

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  1. Oh wow! This is a great list that made me smile. I like the themes for each month and how well the suggested donations fit in with them.

    1. Thanks, Brenda. I love having themes to build around whether it’s in my donations or my college care packages. 🙂

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