Homelessness is a crisis across the country.

In the year 2022 alone, there were about 582,000 Americans experiencing homelessness, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The District of Columbia, California, Vermont, Oregon, Hawaii and New York experienced the highest rates of homelessness in 2023, according to World Population Review.

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While the crisis is most prevalent in these areas, people across the country may need your help this holiday season.

Below are five things you can do to help those struggling with homelessness during the holidays.

With homelessness on the rise in America, donating money and time to organizations that help the cause is extremely valuable. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

  1. Donate clothing and children's toys
  2. Create care packages
  3. Donate to organizations fighting homelessness
  4. Volunteer your time
  5. Lead with kindness

1. Donate coats

With the cold winter approaching, many homeless people do not have adequate clothing to protect themselves from the cold.

Consider donating coats to a shelter to help keep people healthy and warm during the cold months.

This includes jackets, gloves, hats, scarves and warm pants.

Clothing boxes

With the cold weather approaching, warm clothing is more important than ever. (Lindsey Nicholson/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Blankets are another great item to donate to shelters, especially in the winter.

During the holiday season, consider dropping off toys at an organization or shelter that supports homeless families.

Your toy donation could bring a smile to a struggling child's face this Christmas.

2. Create care packages

A care package can include everyday necessities such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, hair combs, tissues, band-aids, lip balms, and snacks.

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Especially around the holidays, it's a nice touch to add a card to your care package with words of encouragement.

Care packages for the homeless

Care packages can include everything from toiletries to bottled water and snacks. (Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

They can be taken to your local homeless shelter to be distributed to people in need.

3. Donate to organizations fighting homelessness

There are many worthy charities you can donate to this holiday season.

If you want to specifically help combat homelessness, some organizations to consider are the Coalition for the Homeless, Covenant House, Family Promise, and the Salvation Army.

You can also choose to donate through GoFundMe if you know of a specific family or individual who needs help during the holidays.

4. Volunteer your time

Offering help doesn't always have to come in the form of a monetary donation. Donating your time can be equally valuable.

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Look for volunteer opportunities at your local shelter. Especially during the winter months, shelters are often crowded with people trying to stay out of the cold.

The high capacity shelters face during the winter makes volunteers vital to keeping operations running smoothly.

Homeless shelter volunteers

Serving food at a shelter is a way to volunteer this holiday season. (Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

You can volunteer by helping distribute food to people in shelters. You can also look for opportunities to share any skills you have with the homeless.

This could include money management, a cooking class, or preparing for a job interview. All of these skills can bring great benefits in the future.

You might also consider organizing a fun event, like a painting night, bingo, or even a dance class.

5. Lead with kindness

When you see a homeless person, always show kindness. This can be as simple as a kind word or a reassuring smile.

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If you pass a homeless person, consider offering them food, some grocery items, or a gift card to a local cafe or restaurant.

Homeless man sleeping

Always show kindness to any homeless person you encounter. (Tayfun Coskun Agency/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Your small gesture can make a big difference.

For more lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

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