HOUSTON – On this Giving Tuesday, organizations across the Houston area are hoping that people will reach into their hearts and their pockets and give as much as they can. They said more and more families need assistance and fewer families are able to donate this time of year.
“Coming into this Christmas season, we knew it would be tough -- more businesses are closing, more layoffs are happening, more families are just struggling to keep their lights on,” said Brian Carr, Chief Advancement Officer for the Northwest Assistance Ministries.
As millions of Americans spent the last several days shopping for the holiday season, millions of families continue to struggle.
“So, as many as 3, 4, 500 families applied for rental assistance and for food and through the great funders and community we’ve been able to, so far, meet that need,” said Carr.
Northwest Assistance Ministries is now seeing a major strain. The holiday season typically brings in more donations, but not this year. Their goal is to pack their food pantry with food for families in need and their warehouse with 16,000 more toys before Christmas. Carr said he has to be optimistic.
“The community here in Houston is such a strong community but we are hurting,” Carr said. “There are tens of thousands of families that are living on the edge and every little bit helps.”
The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign is also being threatened by COVID-19 with fewer bell ringers and fewer kettles set up across the Greater Houston area. The campaign is seeing a 20% drop in donations compared to last year.
“The kettle is not just for Christmas,” said Maj. Zach Bell with the Salvation Army of Greater Houston. “It provides resources year-round.”
Those resources include housing assistance and food distributions.
So far, the Salvation Army has raised about $250,000 of their $1.1 million goal.
“You can put pennies in there,” Bell said. “You can put nickels, dimes, quarters, dollars. People put more. They put checks, gold coins. It all adds up.”
If you donate to these charities through their Facebook pages, Facebook will match $7 million in donations on Giving Tuesday. You can find the Salvation Army’s Facebook page here and the Northwest Assistance Ministries Facebook page here.
Of course, you can also help by volunteering.