Safe in 60: The Best Ways To Give This Holiday Season

Nov 19, 2018, 7:00 AM | Updated: 7:18 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Utahns are known for giving. Studies show our state is consistently at or near the top for volunteering, service and charitable giving.

In fact, Utah was ranked the most charitable state in a 2017 Wallet Hub study.

During my career as a police officer, I have worked in the downtown area and I have seen many generous Utahns, especially this time of year, hand out warm clothes, blankets and money to people experiencing homelessness.

But what most don’t know is that there is a more effective way to give.

There are many resources in the Rio Grande area that provide three meals a day, places to wash clothes, shower and many other daily needs. When people don’t give through proper, organized programs, a lot of the gifts, or remnants of them, end up discarded on the ground.

To make sure your gift is doing the most good, be sure to choose a reputable organization and donate your time, money, necessities or even your skill as a mentor. These organizations provide resources and programs to help those in need not just in the short term, but also with an aim at long-term success at independence.

If you’d like to donate goods, look for organized food and clothing drives or pick-up services. Your donations will be properly distributed in a fair and appropriate fashion.

An easy way to give while you are downtown this season is with one of 20 donation meters. The red meters are clearly marked and 100 percent of the donations provide resources for those experiencing homelessness.

Location of donation meters in Salt Lake City.

You’ll find more information about Salt Lake City’s Homeless Outreach Service Team here.

Never give to panhandlers. This doesn’t help with long-term success, and takes away from reputable organizations working hard to give a hand up, not a hand out to those in need.

Giving is so rewarding for the giver as well as the receiver. There are many ways you can help this season. Think about what you are passionate about and research how you can help with that cause.

Below is a list of charitable organizations that accept donations to help children, victims of abuse and people experiencing homelessness. This not an exhaustive list – more programs can be found online.

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Safe in 60: The Best Ways To Give This Holiday Season