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Out of The Bag: More Than 20 Items or Skills You Never Thought To Donate

When it comes to donation, you probably have items in your home and office that can be put to good use by community groups including food pantries.

Everyone loves a "top ten" or "top five" blog post so I've written my fair share over at The Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project. It is a helpful way to educate folks on some of the fundamental points about hunger or environmental issues. 

One of our most popular posts simply lists items you can donate to support your food pantry that you may never have thought to contribute. 

1. Toilet Paper

2. Juice

3. Feminine Hygiene Products

4. Coupons

Visit our post to see the rest of the list and let us know which item really resonates with you. 

We also put together a list of "swag" or promotion items you might not have considered donating. Until now. But the things you stuff in a junk drawer or glove box can make a big impact for your neighbors - think hand sanitizer and stickers. Think "regifting!" 

When you are doing a bit of cleaning, keep in mind these types of items – perhaps hang a tote bag on a door knob and fill it with items as you come across them? Keep it in mind when someone shares an item you really want to regift – who can argue when you regift to fight hunger? Even your aunt-in-law can’t really disagree with that one.

Look around your home or office right now. I bet you can see at least one “swag” item that you simply aren’t going to use. Right?

We also created a list of eight unique ways your family can fight hunger this month - from baking cookies to dressing up as a monster at a local haunted house ... this definitely gets you thinking outside of the bag. 

One of these list items struck you, made you go “really?” or nod with that “I never thought about that before” look in your eyes. Grab it. Make that your launch point to take action. Email that one fact to your friends and family RIGHT NOW. Take it to your book club. Talk about it with your kids. Be inspired!

These make terrific projects for age appropriate family activities – your kids are surrounded by other children who are hungry (1 in 5) so this is not unfamiliar to them on some level. Invite them to contribute some of their personal funds to shop together. Ask them to pick items other children might like and talk about some of the issues we mentioned. A great way to teach sharing.

Add some pizzazz to a food drive. Really, its okay. Pick a theme – peanut butter, kid friendly cereals, coupon challenge, mops and buckets, or even paper products. Not only are you doing good and helping your neighbors, you are encouraging people to think outside of the canned good. And that’s great. Hunger deserves our most creative energy and effort.

Don’t forget the totes! Some of these items are very heavy and cumbersome. A sturdy tote bag makes it easier to take that one extra item home from the food pantry for a family that relies on the bus or has young children with them.

This video from Sesame Street - a parody of "Call Me Maybe" - is a great example of thinking outside of the bag. 

For more suggestion on how you can get your entire family involved using everyday items and your unique skills, visit us at www.tote4pgh.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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