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Some charities suffering amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 7:22 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va (WTAP) - It’s no secret the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt many American establishments. Some businesses have closed their doors permanently, others for the time being. As thousands and thousands of Americans struggle financially through the pandemic, so too are the charitable organizations they like to give their money to.

Carmen Hathaway, Community Development Manager for The American Cancer Society, says donations to the nonprofit this year are about half of what they usually are. 

“It’s been harder this year. folks not having jobs or businesses suffering from covid-19. Non profits have suffered just the same,” said Hathaway. 

To make up for lost funds, the American Cancer Society is taking to social media and coming up with new ways to fundraise. 

There are three fall programs Hathaway is hoping will build up funds for The American Cancer Society. Real Men Wear Pink calls for male “champions,” or volunteers, who have some connection to breast cancer, to wear something pink for the entire month of October. They would also use their networking abilities to raise money for breast cancer research. Each man is asked to set a fundraising goal of $2,500. You can find more information by clicking here

 In the same vein, Power of Pink asks for female volunteers to wear something pink through the month of October and to collect donations through their networking skills. The main difference is that the female volunteers are asked to set a minimum goal of $1,000. For more information, click here.

 And coming sooner than the other two, Gold Together is a program to raise money for Pediatric Cancer Research. Again, this program is asking for champions, men or women, to raise money for childhood cancer research. Champions are asked to set a minimum goal of $1,000 for this program. To learn more, click here

For other nonprofits, this year has been more of a mixed bag. Summer is always a dry season for donations to the Salvation Army, but they budget to keep going. With that said, officials aren’t sure what to expect with this year’s Red Kettle Campaign. Between Americans having less money from not working, shopping more online, the national coin shortage, and general uncertainty, officials say there’s no telling what it could look like. 

“We’re not sure what COVID is going to do to our kettles. We don’t know if it’s going to allow us to still have manned kettles, we don’t know what our managers, or our corporate offices or our stores are going to allow,” said Major Patrick Richmond, of the Salvation Army of Parkersburg. “We’re already looking at different avenues of fundraising to help meet the need- of raising the funds that we need this year, or during that time of year. But, also to still provide that chance for our community to support the Salvation Army and its services.”

And that’s as Richmond says there has been a rising need for their services amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Just in the month of July we fed over 2,500 meals, we housed over 132 individuals, just in July. The services the Salvation Army is expected to provide are still going strong,” said Richmond. 

Luckily for the Parkersburg branch, the Salvation Army has been receiving a lot of donations to its store. So long as people continue to buy from it, they can cycle money made there back into their programs. 

“It’s interesting, because if you talk about physical donations, we’re getting more and more everyday. It’s almost as if everyone decided they’re going to do some spring cleaning at the same time and it hasn’t stopped,” said Major Richmond. 

Richmond says the pandemic has more changed what they’re given than it has how much people give. He says they have received many donations for gloves and masks as opposed to usual financial donations. He hopes the gifts given during the COVID-19 pandemic don’t affect they’re usual donations. 

In a similar situation, volunteer fire departments are also hurting, as WTAP has covered before. In light of this, a Marietta business is trying to help them out. You can read about that here.

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