Great-grandparents gave £200 to Crawley Open House instead of buying Christmas presents for their adult relatives.
David and Pat Carpenter, of New Market Road, Furnace Green, handed the cheque to the homeless shelter.
David, 72, said: “Very often with Christmas presents we don’t know what to buy people so we buy them something we think they like and they have to be polite and that’s the truth of the matter.
“Rather than have all that hassle why not give it to someone who needs it?”
David used to counsel and transport Crawley drug users to Open House.
He worked for Addaction some ten years ago.
He said: “I knew Open House had a need as I’ve had contact with them previously so thought let’s give it to them.”
David, a member of Crawley Lions Club, first considered giving to charity instead of his family two years ago.
He said he was pleased with the donation and hoped more of his relatives would give to their own causes next Christmas.
He said: “We will do it again certainly.
“They are very reluctant to do it.
“We tried to force the situation a little bit.”
The Carpenters have three children, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
The couple and other Crawley Lions delivered furniture to the shelter on Tuesday.