SEARCH HOMELESS SERVICES
What Is It?: A nonprofit organization that helps men, women, and children move from the streets into jobs and safe, stable housing. SEARCH “meets clients where they are and gets them back on their feet through services that engage, stabilize, educate, employ, and house.”
Help Needed: Make sack lunches or snack packs, collect needed items, assemble adult holiday stockings, fulfill children’s holiday wish lists, or write holiday cards or letters.
Minimum Age to Volunteer: No minimum age. All ages may pack lunches off-site or collect items.
PREPARE SACK LUNCHES
SEARCH distributes about 300 sack lunches each week. Volunteers may prepare lunches and deliver them to SEARCH. Each bag contains 2 sandwiches, a bottle of water or juice box, a bag of chips, and a piece of fruit or granola bar. Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator for detailed instructions, and to set a delivery date, so that different groups don’t deliver duplicate lunches on the same day.
PREPARE SNACK PACKS
Purchase 3 or more of the items below and package them in zip lock bags. The Mobile Outreach Team distributes snack packs to individuals on the street who are experiencing homelessness. Delivery must be coordinated with Katherine White before donation.
- Bumble Bee Snacks on the Run
- Vienna sausage
- GoGo Squeeze fruit pouches
- Pudding packs
- Planters mixed snack pouches / trail mix
- Fruit cups or applesauce cups
- Peanut butter or cheese cracker packs
- Dried fruit crisps packets
- Raisin snack boxes
- Granola bars
- Jif to Go/Nutella & Go snacks
- Sunflower seeds
- Non-chocolate protein bars (chocolate melts!)
COLLECT NEEDED ITEMS
SEARCH welcomes donations of basic needs items. Most urgently needed are diapers (sizes 3-5), baby wipes, laundry detergent, men’s casual clothing and shoes, and reusable tote bags (for groceries).
Other needs include
- Hospital Scrubs (new or gently used)
- Clothing and shoes (new or gently used); including outerwear and new undergarments
- Hygiene Products (new and unopened)
- First Aid Kits, Band-Aids
- Linens or towels (new or gently used)
- Sleeping Bags
- Adult backpacks, gym bags, reusable shopping bags
A current list of needed items is on the SEARCH website. Please coordinate deliveries with the Volunteer Coordinator before dropping off donations.
ASSEMBLE ADULT HOLIDAY GIFT STOCKINGS
“We welcome holiday gift stockings from November 1 until December 16 for our adult clients who are so deserving of your generous gifts. These gifts will bring joy and help to provide some basic needs for the holiday season.”
Recommended: $10 gift card (suggestions: Kroger, Fiesta, Dollar Store, Walmart)
Optional: Pair of socks, pair of winter gloves, knit winter hat, winter scarf, key chain, encouraging book or Bible (pocket size), holiday chocolate or cookies (packaged, not homemade).
Please do not include electronics and do not exceed $35 in value per stocking. Delivery must be coordinated with the Volunteer Coordinator before donation.
HOST A “WINTER WARMS” DRIVE
During the winter months, many SEARCH clients encounter new basic needs. Host a drive to collect new or gently used adult coats (size L), blankets, or winter hats for individuals experiencing homelessness in Houston.
Delivery must be coordinated with the Volunteer Coordinator before donation.
FULFILL CHILDREN’S HOLIDAY WISH LISTS
This project pairs members of the community with 300 specific children from SEARCH and The House of Tiny Treasures who submitted their wish lists.
Assignment of Holiday Wish Lists starts in mid-November. To request one or more lists, email Katherine White at kwhite@SEARCHHomeless.org
Subject: Holiday Wish Lists
Email Content Example: “I would like to sponsor 10 wish lists.”
You will receive a reply with the children’s lists and delivery instructions. Thank you so much in advance for bringing some holiday joy and cheer to our clients! Delivery must be coordinated with the Volunteer Coordinator before donation.
Katy Youth Cricket volunteers assembling sack lunches.
NCL Bayou Villages created hygiene kits for SEARCH.
A Devon Energy volunteer, 2016.
First Unitarian Church volunteers sorting donations of hygiene items after serving a meal.
Austin's Reach Beyond Mission did power-washing and other cleaning at SEARCH.
Closet of donated clothes for clients.
SEARCH's new building on Congress Avenue, 2016
Since 2011, sisters and softball players Jordan & Peyton Howard donated more than $6000 to Search via their Hits for Homeless fundraiser.
Congregation Brith Shalom & United Orthodox Synagogue served meals in December 2016.
Results of a Halliburton water drive.
Chevron volunteers helping with a meal.
MFuge campers sprucing up the exterior.
Katy Youth Cricket members with completed sack lunch donations.
Emma & Emily donated activity packs to entertain children in the Resource Center.
NATH members with donated holiday stockings, 2016
NCL Helping Hands West Houston collected more than $1000 worth of pantry items donations, 2012
NCL Bayou Villages members with hygiene kit donations
The Hess Corporation conducted a blanket and coat drive.
Insperity volunteers packed backpacks and donated supplies, 2012
St. Agnes Academy students donated blankets, 2016
Volunteers Kit Klaes & Davis Hance making sandwiches, 2017