Socks and toothpaste

Visit the Safe Ground website at for info on how to donate. Items for Loaves & Fishes can be dropped off at their warehouse at 1321 North C Street, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

The weather has finally taken a turn toward a lovely fall, with crisp mornings, comfortable afternoons and cold nights. It’s wonderful.

Unless you happen to be sleeping outside, in which case the worst is yet to come once the rain starts falling. That’s why this is the perfect time to reach out to agencies that serve homeless people in the region. For instance, Safe Ground put out a call for tarps (any size, but the bigger the better) so that people can be ready for rain. It’s also a good time to donate sleeping bags (new is nice, but gently used won’t be criticized), especially those that are made for cold-weather camping. Warm socks are always needed, and nobody’s going to turn down long underwear—which, for obvious reasons, should be new. And Loaves & Fishes are always in need of travel-size personal-care items like shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant and cough drops, as well as the same sort of cold-weather camping items that Safe Ground is collecting.

It’s not much, really, but it can make all the difference in the world on a cold night in Sacramento.