Care Kits for Youth Facing Homelessness


Our Fall 2022 community project, Care Kits for Youth Facing Homelessness, offers individuals and groups the opportunity to volunteer and actively contribute to the community.

United Way is committed to getting our city’s homeless youth off the streets and into safe, stable housing. Help us reach our goal of collecting 500 care kits for youth in need across Ottawa and the counties of Renfrew, Prescott-Russell and Lanark.

How it works

Community members gather necessary kit items (full list below), then package them into Ziploc bags and mark them to indicate whether they are for youth with textured curly hair and/or if the kit contains menstruation products. Volunteers are then asked to drop the kits off at one of our offices on November 25th between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Our staff will coordinate the delivery of the kits to agency partners across our region in early December for distribution to those in need.

Who can volunteer?

We welcome participation from community members across our region: individuals, families, groups from workplaces, faith communities, clubs, schools, and teams.

If you are a student that requires validation for volunteer hours, please bring your documentation to the drop off on November 25th. We will validate three hours for individual participation and seven hours for coordinating a group participation.

How it helps

Youth become homeless for many reasons, including fleeing violence or sexual abuse at home, being forced out due to persecution because of their gender identity, or battles with mental health and addictions. Youth sometimes resort to short-term, unstable and unpredictable means to get through this period of their lives, including couch surfing or relying on their local shelter system. These living situations can often be precarious and quite dangerous.

With the rising cost of food in our region, many youths experiencing homelessness are forced into choosing between things like buying food or buying toothpaste. These kits will help remove one of the many daily barriers local young people come up against when experiencing homelessness.

Learn more about how United Way East Ontario works to support youth facing homelessness.

Get started

Registering online confirms your participation in building one or more completed kits, to be delivered on November 25th between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to one of our offices.

Should you have any questions about registration and/or participation please reach out to Carmelina Santamaria at


What goes in a kit?

Kit costs depend on the items selected but will be within $30 – $35 for new full-size items purchased individually at regular retail prices. Creativity and planning can lower overall costs: redeem store loyalty program points, purchase items in bulk, divide up the purchase of items among a larger group of people.

A kit should contain all items listed below. All items are to be new/unused only and placed in Ziploc bags. Kits containing unscented and fragrance-free products are welcomed for individuals with skin sensitivities but is not required.

You have the option to add menstruating products and/or hair care products for textured/curly hair. These are specific items that our community agencies have indicated are in high demand. Please identify your completed kits with T/C- for textured curly hair, S/S – for skin sensitivities and/ or M/P- for menstruation products

Gender-Neutral Kit

Full Size shampoo
Full Size conditioner
Full Size body wash
Full Size moisturizer / body
Hairbrushes / combs
Hair elastics / clips
Shaving Cream
Disposable Razors (4-5)
Optional items to add:
Tampons (Regular Size)
Full Size Hydrating Shampoo for Texture/Curly Hair
Full Size Leave-In Conditioner
Wide-Tooth Pick Comb
A photo of a kid doing homework at a computer.

Drop-off Details

To offer everyone a safe, convenient, and orderly drop-off experience we will be offering the following drop off locations on November 25th between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.:

Drop-off Locations

United Way East Ontario Prescott Russell Regional Office 
134 Main Street East, Suite 103 
Hawkesbury, ON K6A 1A3

United Way East Ontario Ottawa Regional Office 
363 Coventry Road 
Ottawa, ON K1K 2C5

United Way East Ontario Lanark County Regional Office 
20 Bennett Street, Unit 210 
Carleton Place, ON K7C 4J9

United Way East Ontario Renfrew County Regional Office 
130 Pembroke Street West     
Pembroke, Ontario K8A 5M8

Help and support

If you have any questions, please contact Jean Carmelina Santamaria, Thank you for your support!