David Ariagno Women's SheltersWhen people donate to a shelter, many will go with classic staples like canned goods and school supplies. In my previous blog, I talked about things like socks, spices, and business attire that are commonly in demand at shelters, but rarely donated. This blog will serve as a follow-up to that blog, but will go more in-depth as to what donations are commonly needed as women’s shelters.

Menstrual Products

Many women are forced to choose between purchasing food, a necessity that’s relatively inexpensive, and purchasing menstrual products, which can be pricey. Although the government doesn’t deem menstrual products as a necessity, they’re are a basic sanitary need for all women — especially for those who are homeless and don’t have access to showers.

Women’s shelters rarely get donations of tampons, pads, or menstrual cups. But when they do, they’re extremely grateful because most people don’t think twice about donating these products. The next time you see a coupon or a sale for menstrual products, take advantage of it and purchase products to donate.

Clothing and Underwear

Considering many homeless women don’t have access to necessary menstrual products, their undergarments and clothing will suffer. Since this happens more often than not, women will need to frequently replenish their stash of undergarments and clothing because they’ll be soiled beyond repair. Clean out your closet to see if there’s any gently worn clothes you no longer wear — and pay particular attention to pants or skirts!

As for undergarments, you should purchase brand new packs of underpants to donate — because no one will want to wear your used underwear! Bras are also a popular item for women’s shelters. Unlike underpants, some shelters will accept gently used bras as long as they don’t show a lot of wear and tear. However, check the guidelines first in case your shelter only accepts new bras.

Diapers and Wipes

It’s no surprise that many women who receive donations from women’s shelters are mothers as well — and in desperate need of diapers and wet wipes for their babies. Since these items are are also for sanitary needs, they’re a necessity to keep both mother and baby happy. Just like menstrual products, the next time you see a coupon or a sale, take advantage of it and purchase products to donate.


Although cosmetics isn’t a mandatory item, they provide women a boost of confidence because they will feel better about their appearance. This is especially important for job interviews because women will need to look and feel their best and hiring managers expect candidates will come in with a groomed appearance.

Some items you can donate include facial moisturizer, lipstick, eyeliner, eyeshadow, foundation, nail polish and manicure essentials like a nail or cuticle trimmer. Take a look at your makeup stash to see if there’s anything that’s unopened or barely used.