Charities Struggling For Donations

by Donna McCollum

It's more difficult for local charities to help all the poor people, single moms, and elderly on their lists, but they still try.

The youth at North Street Church of Christ will hand out more 800 wrapped gifts to children, but that's still less than what was collected last year. Similar stories come from other non-profit agencies. The Empty Stocking Fund is $10,000 under its goal. The Women's Shelter has unadopted families. Love In the Name of Christ requests are up 30% from last year.

Love, INC director, Roger Aker said, "The people who are asking are increasing faster than the number who are contributing, but that number is increasing as well."

Sometimes, you must be direct in your asking. Youth minister Scott Wallace said, "It seems like whenever we would ask directly, nobody would hesitate to make an offer to give. It's just whenever we got down to it, and want to make people to make the first step, they were hesitant."

Some donors are concerned that recipients are taking from all the services in town. Some agencies restrict their client lists. Others refer to a countywide data base to find out who has already been helped. Aker explained, "We're trying to make sure everybody gets something rather than some get a lot."

Susan Reed screens those in need everyday. She wants help to come from someone who isn't pressured in giving. "I would very much like to search their heart and do what they think they would like to do."

Food, toys, or cash -- all are needed and appreciated. Each person getting a free gift for the child in their family said 'thank you' as the teen handed them the present.


Now, here's how you can help. First, take the initiative to donate your time or service to the charity of your choice.

Donations to Love In the Name of Christ can be dropped off at Brookshire Brother's Fresh Harvest store on University Drive through December 21st.

To make it easy, toy and food purchases are already bagged up, or you can bring your own.

You can also help out in other ways, said Love INC's Homeless Prevention Coordinator, Kenyatta Brown. "You can help with the wrapping of the gifts and their distribution to families. Many of our clients don't have transportation, so we need to make deliveries."

There's also a gift wrapping party on Wednesday from noon to 8:00 p.m. Gift distributions will be Wednesday and Thursday beginning at noon. Please call ahead at 569-8555 between 9:00 a.m. and noon to coordinate times. Both events will take place at Nacogdoches Bible Fellowship on East Main.

North Street Church of Christ will accept toy donations through tomorrow.

Empty Stocking donations can be made through Child Protective Services in Nacogdoches, and you can drop off a donations at the Women's Shelter anytime.