How your Dayton car donation can help the homeless this winter

Plus, four other ways to help

So far this winter, the weather has been the highest ever recorded, with only little hints of snowflakes yet to come. However, the snow and cold will come eventually, and when they do, they will hit Ohio's homeless population especially hard.

The good news is there are plenty of things you can do to help ensure the most vulnerable members of your community have access to life's essentials, like shelter and food, as temperatures drop.

Here are five ways you can help the homeless this winter.

Donate your car

Believe it or not, one of the biggest ways you can helps Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio help the homeless in your community is through our car donation program.

Don't let your extra car or truck rust outside in the snow. Donate it to Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio in Dayton. We'll take boats, RVs, tractors, motorcycles and almost anything else with a motor — whether it's running or not.

We can also arrange free same-day towing. And also of note, your vehicle may be worth more as a tax-deductible donation than privately sold property.

The bottom line: Your car donation goes a long way toward helping us help the homeless.

Care packages

Have a few hours to spare? Pull together care packages that we can get directly into the hands of homeless men, women and children in our programs. These could include canned or dried foods, eating utensils, hats and gloves, toothbrushes and toothpaste, hand sanitizer or wipes, a first aid kit, blankets, socks and other items people use on a daily basis.

Donate clothes

If you have a pile of clothing in your closet that you keep meaning (and forgetting) to give away, now is the time. Raid your wardrobe and ask yourself if you are really ever going to wear that sweater your grandma got you. You know, the one that is in perfectly good condition but is just not your color. Consider donating it to Volunteers of America thrift stores, where its sale will help support our programs and services for the homeless.

Give a backpack to a child

Students need backpacks, but none more so than homeless children, who often do not have access to the school supplies that are critical to their learning.

You can also help homeless and at-risk children by donating backpacks and school supplies to Operation Backpack. To participate, purchase a new backpack and school supplies and drop it off at a Volunteers of America location near you.

Brighten a birthday

Birthdays are a time of joy and celebration, but when a child has no roof over his or her head, it may feel like there is little to fete. Want to bring an instant smile to a homeless child's face? Help them celebrate their special day through our Brightening Birthdays program. You can do so by volunteering your time for any Brightening Birthdays events, or by donating supplies or money for an upcoming party.

Search "donate my car" to find out other ways you can help

Ready to donate your vehicle? Contact the Car Donation & Auction Office at 800-862-6030 or fill out the car donation form to make a difference today.