“St. Vinnie’s is here to help. If you need emergency assistance to help pay for basic needs, such as rent, utilities, gas, food, clothing or links to other resources, we want to help.” It’s December and winter will soon be here. Executive Director Tracy Peacock recently shared this request from a desperate young woman: “I’m a single mom. I’m living in my car with my children. Could you help? I am asking for a few nights in a motel just to clean up and stay warm. Thank you, so much.”
I have been shaking my head in dismay as I watched August turn into September, followed by October and November without the U.S. Senate taking steps to help individuals with direct payments, as were dangled before our eyes last spring. Although the senators are anxious to help businesses, and fund unemployment insurance, there are many people who are still struggling with rent, house payments, utilities, food, heat, and transportation.
One of the greatest problems right now is that the poor donate more per capita than individuals in higher income brackets, and their generosity tends to remain higher during economic downturns. People are running out of money to help others as well as themselves. Much of the non-profit agencies helping people could disappear soon. Our neighbor to the north, British Columbia anticipates losing 25% of their non-profits.
Although government, both nationally and locally, are trying to help people, much of the support is done by non-profit agencies. Here locally the loss of non-profits could go higher.
More than 60% of nonprofits surveyed had to pause programs, and 14% had to end them all together. Arts organizations are seeing a drop-off in demand “that is jeopardizing their ability to survive,” the study said. – seattletimes.com/seattle-news/uw-study-shows-how-nonprofits-are-suffering-and-sustaining-during-the-pandemic/
It’s Red Kettle Time. Although the Salvation Army started their Red Kettle campaign in 1891, it is still in operation . . . kind of. I used to enjoy ringing the bell with fellow Rotarians outside restaurants, grocery stores, and on street corners. I still carry a pocketful of quarters and bills to drop in any kettle I see (I like to hear the clunk) or to hand to individuals in need.
Money is getting tighter and tighter and people still have needs. Many are still not working due to COVID:19 restrictions, but what are their options?
I recently wrote an article about the Toy Rescue Mission, which provides toys to needy children at their special time of the year, be it a birthday gift, an Easter basket or at Christmastime. Our local food banks (Nourish, Emergency Food Network, et al) are stretching all they can to provide food to our Pierce County neighbors. We live in a great community with generous people.
St. Vinnies is one of our favorite helpful organizations that help across a broader field of need. They provide jobs and run two used items/clothing stores (the Puyallup Store is temporarily closed due to lack of funds). Their facility on South 56th offers fantastic deals on household appliances, clothing, toys, books, and much more. It’s like a treasure hunt each time Peg and I stop in to drop off, donate, AND shop.
Most people would work if they could. Please, help our community through your favorite organization, or directly with the Salvation Army, food banks, and/or St. Vinnies. The people helped could be living just down the street from you. – particular-council-of-tacoma-society-of-st-vincent-de-paul.square.site/
Each day, St. Vinnies has phone calls from people trying to cope. The calls come in from all over Pierce County (See three other real calls for help below). This Holiday Season and winter are going to be brutal.
Recent call in for help – #1
My name is Milly J. and I’m the mother to a 5 year-old special needs child. We are currently living in a motel and I’m not sure how we are going to keep the room tomorrow. I really need help as its cold out and have nowhere to go with my son. I can be reached at XXX. We are staying at theXXX.
Recent call in for help – #2
My name is Georgine F. and Associated Ministries gave me your telephone number and a hold for a hotel voucher. I’ve been in my car now for 11 days and I just need I need a warm safe place to sleep so bad. I’m sorry I’m waiting. My telephone number is XXX. If you have any available or suggestions, please call me back. Thank you.
Recent call in for help – #3
Hi my name is XXX. I am a mental health professional at the XXX police department and I have a gal here, her name is Judy P.. She has a car but she is needing assistance with gas but she’s recently homeless and trying to get reconnected with job services and housing and she would really like a call back from you. Her phone number is XXX-XXX-XXXX. Again that’s XXX-XXX-XXXX and her name is Judy last name P.. Thank you.
“If you need emergency assistance to help pay for basic needs, such as rent, utilities, gas, food, clothing or links to other resources, we want to help. We review all requests and try to respond in a timely manner. Due to an increase in requests, it may take up to 72 hours to get a call back. We may also request a home or office visit to find out what you need. You do not need to be a member of any religion or faith to receive help. We welcome all who seek our services.” – svdptacoma.org/
If you are able to help with a donation, please visit: particular-council-of-tacoma-society-of-st-vincent-de-paul.square.site/
Disclaimer: The names have been changed and the phone numbers Xed out. The messages have been slightly altered for privacy’s sake. Help if you can.