An increase in need and decrease in giving this holiday season - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

An increase in need and decrease in giving this holiday season

Posted:

"It feels like I'm doing something to help. Maybe I can't do it financially, but I can give my time," says Millie Shaw, Salvation Army Bell Ringer.

It doesn't matter what you're giving, non-profit organizers say every bit is needed. Especially this year.

"It's a tougher year. The need hasn't decreased, we may see less here, but with all the other agencies we're seeing numbers as high or higher than years past," says Major Steven Woodard, with Elkhart Salvation Army.

He says donations and volunteers are harder to find. Even the popular Adopt-A-Family program had 20 less sponsors this year. This is a trend that many Michiana programs found to be true. In Niles, Goshen, and South Bend, less families were adopted this year because no one would sponsor them.

"It creates a challenge because people still count on Salvation Army to be here." Woodard says they will never turn someone away, but the resources are stretched. And it's a challenge for the South Bend Food Bank too.

"We have to work harder when donations aren't coming in because we have to go out and we have to find people who are willing to give to us," says Mari Jo Martinec, director of community improvement.

She says food is a growing need. "The number of people who use the services has gone up."

Both say it's up to us to help our neighbors, because who knows when the tables will turn.

"For some people who may have been donors to the Food Pantry or soup kitchen, they may have run into some challenging times and now they may need the help that those agencies provide," says Martinec.

"They were adopters in years past and now they're coming in and I don't know of anyone who wants to wake up in the morning and say 'I want to go ask for help.' It's really humbling," says Woodard.

And it's not just over the holidays that there's a need.

"Don't forget about us in May, June, July, August because that's when we need the food as well. Hunger is a 365 day a year problem," says Martinec.

And even though the deadline to adopt a family is closed, the Salvation Army says they also take donations and volunteers year-round.

Powered by WorldNow

Fox 28

WSJV-TV FOX 28
58096 County Road 7, South
Elkhart, IN 46517

Switchboard: 574.679.9758
News Phone: 574.679.4545
Station Fax: 574.294.1267
Email: fox28news@fox28.com

All content ©Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSJV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Heather Stewart at (574) 343-5310. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.