Celebrities…they aren’t just like us. But it’s uplifting when they take the time to use their resources for good causes – and that’s exactly what Jennifer Garner did when she shared a tip on social media to help fight homelessness one Ziploc bag at a time.
“Random act of kindness: gather these essentials in a quart-sized Ziploc bag and keep them in your car to give away when you see someone in need,” she wrote in the caption of her Instagram Reel. “A pair of thick socks. Kleenex. Hand wipes. Disposable toothbrushes. Chapstick. A couple of granola bars. I forgot this time, but I like to add feminine hygiene products, too. Add $5, $10, $20 and a smile.”
Kindness is Contagious
You may be thinking that such a small gesture is not going to solve the homelessness crisis. And you are right because yes, it’s a crisis. In January 2020, there were 580,466 people experiencing homelessness in America, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness – and those stats pre-date the impact of the pandemic and soaring inflation.
However, as one commenter wrote under Garner’s post, kindness is contagious – and science backs that fact. Researchers call this phenomenon “moral elevation.” When we witness acts of compassion, it creates a reaction in our body and brain that inspires us to be altruistic too. So when a celebrity shares a simple tip that can positively impact the reality of someone experiencing homelessness with her millions of followers, it can inspire a powerful chain reaction. As you take action and spread kindness with one gesture, you motivate others to do the same.
People Rarely Donate Socks to the Homeless
In her Ziploc bag, Garner included a thick pair of socks. Did you know that there are several nonprofits dedicated to collecting sock donations for the homeless? It’s the number one clothing need of those experiencing homelessness, according to the Joy of Sox.
Research shows that people who are homeless are more likely to go to the emergency room for foot injuries and ailments because of that need. Moreover, people tend to donate old clothes but throw out their old socks, so when you give a simple item like a pair of socks to someone experiencing homelessness, you’re providing them with a necessity that they can’t easily access and often need to replenish after hours of walking daily without the ability to do laundry.
Toiletries and feminine hygiene products are also high on the list of welcome donations, according to GreenDrop. While you wouldn’t think twice before buying yourself toothpaste or shampoo, you can make the life of someone experiencing homelessness a little bit less difficult by including those items in care packages and distributing them. Take a cue from Garner, gather some friends, Ziploc bags and essentials, and get started.