The Greatest Needs Drive takes place annually around November & December. Check back then for updates! 

What is the Greatest Needs Drive? 

The Greatest Needs Drive is an annual effort to gather and distribute items identified as being in the highest demand by organizations who serve people in need in the Harrisonburg-Rockingham area. Generous members of our local community donate items throughout the year. For the Greatest Needs Drive, we ask organizations to give us a list of the most frequently or urgently needed items to ensure the items we collect go where they are needed most.

How does Greatest Needs Drive work? 

  • United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County contacts our local community partners with a simple question: "What do you need most?"
  • We compile a list of the most needed items as identified by organizations providing direct services in our community and track who needs what.
  • We recruit volunteers to sign up to champion a collection point. Volunteers are assigned a category of items to collect donations from coworkers, classmates, friends, neighbors or other generous folks who might want to contribute.  
  • Volunteers drop off the donated items at the United Way office. We sort and inventory the donations and distribute them to participating community organizations. 

Interested in Getting Involved?

Please contact Jo Benjamin at or call (540) 434-6639 x108.

Greatest Needs Drive Items

First Aid Items

  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Band-Aids 
  • Q-tips
  • Non-prescription painkillers or fever-reducers (Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Aleve)

Hygiene Items

  • Soap, shampoo, deodorant, combs, hairbrushes, toothpaste, toothbrushes
  • Unscented lotion (small bottles)
  • Tampons and pads
  • Toilet paper
  • Small packs of tissues

Cleaning & Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disinfectant hand wipes
  • Tall kitchen trash bags
  • Disinfectant surface wipes (Clorox or Lysol)
  • Durable & disposable face masks (adult & child sizes)
  • Non-latex disposable gloves (small, medium, large sizes)

Clothing (adult and child sizes)

  • Ponchos, rain jackets
  • Clothing, pajamas
  • Diabetic socks
  • Winter clothing (coats, boots, hats, gloves)

  Educational Items

  • White cardstock 
  • Power strips 
  • Electric pencil sharpeners 
  • Packs of markers
  • Construction paper
  • Child-sized scissors
  • Coloring books
  • Children’s books
  • Arts & crafts modelling clay (Play doh) 
  • Small radio with CD player
  • Headphones

Baby Care Items

  • Pacifiers
  • Diapers 
  • Diaper cream
  • Baby wipes
  • Baby Formula
  • Newborn size hats
  • Baby blankets
  • Mommy’s Bliss probiotics

Mother Care Items

  • Postpartum supplies 
  • Bed pads 
  • Disposable underwear 
  • Absorbent nursing pads 
  • Nipple guards for breastfeeding

Elder Care Items

  • Nutrition drinks
  • Disposable adult undergarments

Car and Tools

  • Vehicle engine oil
  • All-season windshield wiper fluid
  • Antifreeze & coolant fluid
  • Shovels
  • Rakes
  • Hammers
  • Household tool sets (plyers, screwdrivers, etc.)
  • Adjustable wrenches 

Food Items

  • Individually wrapped snacks (fruit snacks, granola bars, etc.)
  • Gallon jugs of water
  • Nutrition drinks


  • Quart size ziplock bags
  • Emergency blankets
  • Wrist braces/splints (non-prescription)
  • Gift cards to grocery stores, gas stations, etc.