Help Welcome Refugees by Making a Hope Kit

Catholic Charities is helping to resettle refugees in our community. When refugees families and individuals arrive in the United States, they have very few possessions to their name. That is when Catholic Charities, Diocese of St. Petersburg steps in. From the moment refugees arrive at the airport, Catholic Charities is there to guide them toward becoming self-sufficient and contributing members of their new community.

Refugees are in the United States legally, having fled their home country because of persecution or the fear of persecution passed on race, ethnicity, religion, political belief or membership in a particular social group. Refugees receive extensive background screening before coming to our community for safety and freedom.

Catholic Charities in our diocese works with national organizations to assist refugees arriving in the Tampa Bay area. Often, there are only a few days notification before receiving a refugee family. In that time, a complete household must be set up. As seen internationally, the greatest need at this time is for refugees settling from the war torn Middle East, fleeing violence and persecution on Syria and Iraq.

Catholic Charities will be collecting household items for the refugee families. Please consider putting together one or more of the Hope Kits described below.

Each kit should consist of new items placed in a single container and ready for delivery. Be creative! Fill a laundry basket with cleaning supplies, a wastebasket with kitchen essentials or any other suitable container that can be presented as a gift. These kits can be dropped off at any of the Catholic Charities locations listed below. 

Kitchen Kit

  • Dish Soap/Dishwasher Detergent
  • Sponges/Scouring Pads
  • Pot Holders
  • Kitchen Towels
  • Kitchen Trash Can (30 gal.)
  • Kitchen Trash Bags (30 gal.)
  • Storage Bags (Ziplock-type)
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Wax Paper
  • Paper Towels

Bathroom Kit

  • Towels/Wash Cloths
  • Bath Mat/Bathroom Rug
  • Shower Curtain & Rings
  • Toilet Paper/Kleenex
  • Small Trash Can
  • Small Plastic Trash Can Bags
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner/Brush
  • First Aid Kit
  • Insect Repellent

Cleaning Kit

  • Laundry Basket
  • Laundry Detergent/Bleach
  • Softener
  • Clothes Pins
  • Bucket/Mop & Broom
  • Sponges/Scrub Brushes
  • Mild Abrasive Cleaner
  • Glass or All Surface Cleaner
  • Paper Towels

Personal Grooming Kit

  • Bars of Soap
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Hair Brushes/Combs
  • Nail Clippers
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Shaving Cream
  • Disposable Safety Razors
  • Deodorant (men/women)
  • Hand/Body Lotion

Baby Kit (0-3 years)

  • Baby Powder/Shampoo
  • Disposable Diapers/Diaper Bag
  • Diaper Rash Ointment
  • Baby Wipes/Q-Tips
  • Child’s Blankets
  • Age Appropriate Toys
  • Bath Toys
  • Baby Bottles
  • Baby oil
  • Thermometer
  • Electric plug covers
  • Bibs

Preschool Age Kids Kit (3-5 years)

  • Pre-School Kids Kit (3-5)
  • Child/Youth Toothbrushes
  • Small Toys/Stuffed Animals
  • Child’s themed cups & dishes
  • Sippy Cups
  • Beginner Books
  • Coloring Books/crayons
  • Age Appropriate Games
  • Night Lights
  • Hair Clips

Catholic Charities also accepts donations of large furniture items; call 813-631-4370 to arrange for pick up at your home.

Catholic Charities Drop-off Locations

Hillsborough County:
Tampa Center
2021 East Busch Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33612
Open 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

Pinellas County:
Jeff Forbes Center
1213 16th Street North
St. Petersburg, FL 33705
Open 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

Pasco, Hernando & Citrus Counties:
8370 Forest Oaks Blvd.
Spring Hill, FL 34606
Open 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

Photo credit: Antonio Fantasia/Caritas