Image via Flickr with modifications

According to a recent study done by the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, homeless people live 28 fewer years than those that have homes. That statistic alone is heart wrenching. I don’t know about you, but when I encounter a homeless person on the streets, my mind goes one of two ways; either, “I don’t want to just give whatever cash I have on me, because it’s just a band-aid for a much deeper issue,” or, “I am so overwhelmed by the need that I can’t possibly make a difference,” and then I turn the corner and continue on in my comfortable life at my nice desk job. As individuals, we can often feel paralyzed by the need out there, and unless we sell all our possessions and open up a homeless shelter, we can’t possibly do any good. Read on! There is so much that we can accomplish, just one day at a time, one small action, one event. Look at what these people are doing, and be inspired to start something in your community!

Here is a practical way to turn your faith into action! Right now we are raising funds to donate sleeping bags to the homeless.

Just $25 covers the price of a sleeping bag and a care package. Donations are 100% deductible, and 100% of everything donated goes directly to those in need. Click here to donate!

1. Save Your Leftovers

One day, some college kids stumbled into the back of the kitchen in their school cafeteria. They noticed how much food was going to waste, and asked if there was any way for them to donate that food to local shelters. The response? SURE! Everyone hated seeing all the food go to waste, but as a school, they didn’t have the extra money for the labor and other means to get it done. All these kids needed to do was ask! Since that fateful day in 2011, the Food Recovery Network has become a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and has started chapters at over 90 colleges and universities AND donated more than 420,000 pounds of food. These students have volunteered time and transportation costs to deliver more than 335,000 meals to community hunger-fighting agencies since the program started. Want to get involved? See how you can help, and get their full story.