Valley organizations relying on donations take hit during pandemic

Local News

We could see organizations banding together in the coming months to host more virtual events if it comes to it

(WKBN) – Valley organizations that rely on donations to keep going are taking a hit, whether it’s a lack of volunteers or funds.

Trumbull Mobile Meals brings food five days a week to those who can’t get out and do it themselves.

It’s not free, but people pay on a sliding scale to help them out. They host a few fundraisers through the year to help cut the cost of meals for those who can’t afford it.

Because of COVID-19, they had to cancel this year’s fundraisers, both the Edward C. Taylor Memorial March and their Jim Economos Memorial Golf Outing.

CEO of mobile meals Rebecca Edwards told First News these funds will need to come from elsewhere in order to keep the cost low and to keep the people they have on staff running the business. But that could mean, like a lot of others have done, taking all events virtual.

“The board and I have been discussing I don’t know if we’re gonna be doing all of our normal fundraisers this year at all. We’re talking about canceling all of our fundraisers this year that we would normally do because we don’t wanna take the chance on someone getting sick,” said Edwards.

It isn’t just money that’s lacking either, its volunteers. When the pandemic started, they cut back to delivering food just one day a week.

But now as they’re getting back to delivering five of the seven days, they need more volunteers to drive.

It’s not just organizations losing money when they can’t hold fundraising events, it’s the people who rely on these volunteer groups and non-profits to get their meals, help with their home care, whatever it may be that takes the hit.

Other Valley organizations are looking for ways to fill the void of canceled events. The same goes for the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.

They’re entire spring fundraising calendar was down the drain when COVID-19 hit, shorting them hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The United Way, of course, has been around more than 100 years, but what could this mean for smaller volunteer groups who still have overhead costs, but might not be getting the donations to foot the bill?

“Yes, it’s going to hurt some smaller and that’s where we can step in too to see how we can maybe combine services how we can pull those smaller ones up, what do they need you know thats what were here for as well,” said United Way Director of Marketing Roxann Sebest.

We could see organizations banding together in the coming months to host more virtual events if it comes to it.

Sebest says whatever their next pivot is, the volunteer organizations will continue their work no matter what.

While they haven’t been able to hold certain events, they have had even more physical volunteers reaching out, which has made a big difference.

Sebest said United Way does a lot of work with schools and mentor programs, too. Their newest challenge with school plans up in the air is figuring out how to continue that work, even if it means through a computer screen.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending on WKBN.com