We certainly do not have to purchase or make something to further our humanitarian efforts. Sometimes we can just look around our home! Here are some ideas for you or the group that you are working with.
1. Donate your old prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses: http://www.charityguide.org/volunteer/fifteen/eyeglasses-donation.htm
2. Collect unused toiletries from vacations or business trips. Use these to make hygiene kits for local shelters that are in need.
3. Donate your used books to the library. Did you know that you can donate your used books to the library and it is tax-deductible? They will give you a receipt for your items at the circulation desk when you give them your books. If it is a new or popular book, they will put them on their bookshelves! (They were so happy when I gave them my Twilight series, because they are in such demand!) If they don't put the books in circulation, they sell them for library funds.
There are many other posts on this blog about recycling projects for humanitarian opportunities.