Saturday, December 5, 2020

Salvation Army, Red Cross seeking donations

By Julia Kavanagh

            Since the start of the pandemic, we have seen people lose their jobs left and right, leaving people and their families with little to no income. What this means is they might not be able to afford the simple needs such as food, water, and clothing. Organizations like the Salvation Army here on the West Side can give families a little relief.

            Our work has significantly increased and become much more difficult since the start of the pandemic. The need in the community has significantly increased,” said Laurie Krajna, development director. The need for food has increased six times what we usually distribute.”

            Having an organization like the Salvation Army also heavily depends on the support of the local community. If people were to simply stop donating food and clothes, for example, people who rely on that center would be in trouble.

            We partnered with FeedMore WNY to take food to the communities most in need, setting up a drive-thru type system where cars pulled up, popped their trunk, and we’d load bags of food,” Krajna said.  

            Besides seeing an increase demand for in necessary items, the center has a workforce development group that is, Krajna said, seeing an uptick in clients needing updated resumes, high school equivalency classes and specific training.

            “Funds and financial support are needed more than ever,” Krajna said.

            If that isn’t hard enough, it’s almost December, which means a busy Christmas season for the Salvation Army. Many children look forward to Christmas because of all the toys they get to play with. Many kids face the fact that they might not be getting anything because their family simply can’t afford to. 

            “This Christmas we are preparing to serve 1,000 families with needed toys for their children,” Krajna said.

            The American Red Cross on the West Side has also been busy keeping up with the demand of COVID-19. Though they are a donation center for blood and plasma, their mission of supplying donated blood does not stop because of a pandemic.

            “We support collection and distribution of convalescent from individuals who are fully recovered from COVID-19 to help with treatment for the most seriously ill patients,” said Katie Potter, external communications manager at American Red Cross.