Donate Underwear to Homeless Shelter: Top 5 Places

By | February 7, 2024
Donate Underwear to Homeless Shelter

I was about to dispose of the heap of socks in my drawer when my roommate informed me that I could donate them to the homeless shelter.

Following her guidance, I could put a smile on someone else’s face with my small act.

In this article, I explain how to Donate Underwear to Homeless Shelter.

What Types of underwear are Accepted at Homeless Shelters?

What Types of underwear are Accepted at Homeless Shelters?

Homeless shelters accept new underwear primarily for hygiene. Some also consider gently used, clean items in good condition, like men’s briefs, boxers, women’s panties, sports bras, and period underwear.

Things like cookers can be a lot useful as donations. Check out how to Donate Gas Cooker to Charity.

How to Donate Underwear to Homeless Shelter

Follow these steps to Donate Underwear to Homeless Shelter:

  1. Find a shelter to donate to:
    • Contact local shelters directly: Call or visit your local homeless shelters and inquire about their underwear needs. They can tell you what sizes and types are most in demand and whether they accept new or gently used items.
    • Online resources: Utilize websites like “Help the Homeless” or “Find a Shelter” to search for shelters in your area and filter by donation needs.
    • National organizations: Consider donating to organizations like “The Undie Chest” or “The Underwear Drive,” which partner with local shelters nationwide.
  2. Choose what to donate:
    • New underwear is preferred: Shelters prioritize new underwear for hygiene reasons. Look for good deals on bulk packs or multi-packs in various sizes.
    • Gently used options: Some shelters may accept if you have gently used underwear that is in good condition. Ensure they are clean, odor-free, and without tears or rips.
    • Focus on practical needs: Prioritize comfortable, plain styles in neutral colors and various sizes. Avoid donating overly revealing or brightly patterned underwear.
    • Socks and bras can be included: Many shelters also welcome donations of socks and bras, equally essential items.
  3. Prepare your donation:
    • Wash and dry all gently used items.
    • Package your donations neatly: Pack underwear in clean, sealed bags or boxes, categorized by size and gender.
    • Include a note (optional): You can add a note expressing your good wishes for the recipients.
  4. Deliver your donation:
    • Follow the shelter’s guidelines: Some shelters have specific drop off times or locations. Others may prefer you to mail your donation.
    • Be mindful of the shelter’s needs: Don’t overwhelm them with too much at a time. If you need more clarification on the quantity, inquire beforehand.

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Top 5 Homeless Shelters That Accept Underwear

These are the Top 5 Homeless Shelters that Accept Underwear:

1. Human Solutions Inc.

Based in Portland, Human Solutions Inc. helps families in need. They have shelters and centers where about 100 people, including many kids, find refuge each night.

Donations of things like food, warm clothes, blankets, and household items are welcomed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and specific hours on weekends.


In East Portland, JOIN works hard to find homes for homeless folks. They happily accept donations daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Items like food, blankets, clothes, razors, and personal care products are greatly appreciated.

3. Raphael House of Portland

Raphael House helps people affected by domestic violence. They accept donations on the first Thursday of the month from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.

They need personal care products, bedding, household items, and new socks and underwear.

4. YWCA of Greater Portland

The YWCA supports domestic violence victims through the Yolanda Project.

They welcome donations of bedding, hygiene products, kitchen stuff, and new socks and underwear for women and kids.

5. Open Door Counseling Center

In Hillsboro, the Open Door Counseling Center assists homeless men and women.

They need nonperishable food, transportation aid, warm clothes, tents, and sleeping bags, among other items.

Consider extending your support further by contributing essential items like toilet paper. Explore my post on Donate Toilet Paper to discover how to go about it.

Can You Donate Your Personal Underwear?

You can donate your personal underwear if it is clean and wearable.

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Is There a Charity That Takes Underwear?

Yes, several charities accept new and gently used underwear for donation. Organizations like The Undies Project and I Support the Girls collect underwear for those in need, ensuring they meet hygiene standards and preferences for new items.

Is It Okay to Donate Used Underwear?

Is It Okay to Donate Used Underwear?

You can donate used underwear if it is clean and wearable.

Reasons to Donate Underwear to Homeless Shelter

These are the Reasons to Donate Underwear to Homeless Shelter:

  1. Dignity and Comfort: Underwear is a basic necessity that provides dignity and comfort. For individuals experiencing homelessness, having clean and new underwear can significantly boost their sense of self-worth and well-being.
  2. Hygiene and Health: Clean underwear is essential for proper hygiene and preventing infections or skin-related issues. Access to fresh underwear promotes better health among individuals who might not have regular access to laundry facilities.
  3. Scarce Resource: Underwear is often overlooked in donation drives, yet it’s among the most needed and least donated. Shelters consistently need an adequate supply of underwear for their residents.
  4. Empowerment: Providing underwear isn’t just about meeting a material need but empowering individuals. It’s a small but impactful way to help someone regain a sense of normalcy amidst challenging circumstances.
  5. Basic Human Right: Access to clean clothing, including underwear, is a fundamental human right. Donating underwear helps fulfill this right for individuals experiencing homelessness, allowing them to focus on other aspects of rebuilding their lives.

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Benefits of Donating Underwear to Homeless Shelter

These are the Benefits of Donating Underwear to Homeless Shelter:

  1. Hygiene and Health: Underwear donations contribute to better hygiene, reducing the risk of infections and promoting overall health among shelter residents.
  2. Comfort and Well-being: Access to fresh underwear offers physical comfort, especially during challenging times, ensuring basic comfort for those in need.
  3. Scarce Resource Fulfillment: Underwear is often in high demand but low supply at shelters. Donations bridge this gap, meeting an essential yet commonly overlooked need.
  4. Supporting Basic Needs: It addresses a fundamental necessity, allowing shelters to allocate resources to other critical needs while ensuring residents have this basic requirement covered.
  5. Community Support: By donating underwear, individuals contribute directly to the well-being of their community members in need, fostering a sense of unity and support.
  6. Empowerment and Respect: Providing underwear isn’t just about the material item; it’s about respecting the dignity of individuals in challenging situations and empowering them with a basic necessity.
  7. Impactful Contribution: It’s a simple yet impactful way to make a tangible difference in someone’s life, offering immediate and meaningful support to those experiencing homelessness.

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Why is Good Underwear Important?

Underwear isn’t just about style; it’s practical, too. The right underwear sets the base for your outfit, giving you comfort and support while reflecting your style.

Good quality underwear keeps your skin comfortable by letting it breathe and avoiding moisture.

Can You Donate Underwear to Salvation Army?

Yes, you can donate new, unopened packages of underwear to The Salvation Army. However, they do not accept used underwear due to hygiene and health standards.

FAQs on Donate Underwear to Homeless Shelter

These are the frequently asked questions on Donate Underwear to Homeless Shelter:

What Other Items Can I Donate Besides Underwear?

You can donate a range of items besides underwear. Clothes in good condition, such as shirts, pants, jackets, and shoes, are often welcomed. Household items like blankets, towels, kitchenware, and non-perishable food are also great donations.

Are There Specific Guidelines for Donating Underwear to Homeless Shelters?

There are Specific Guidelines for Donating Underwear to Homeless Shelters. You should prioritize new items, consider various sizes, and opt for durable, comfortable fabrics. Also, check with the shelter for specific needs and guidelines before donating.

Can I Donate Gently Used Underwear?

You can donate gently used underwear to homeless shelters.

Do I Get Any Reward for Donating My Underwear to the Homeless Shelter?

There’s no direct reward for donating underwear to a homeless shelter. The act itself is a charitable gesture aimed at helping those in need.


Donating underwear to homeless shelters transcends material generosity; it embodies empathy and respect for human dignity.

This act recognizes the significance of necessities, acknowledging that clean, quality undergarments can profoundly impact one’s confidence and comfort.

It’s a small yet crucial step towards addressing an overlooked fundamental need.