NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Thinking outside the box is imperative for non profits as many of their events have been canceled, rescheduled, or restructured due to COVID-19.
Thursday night would have been the first shopping opportunity at the Nacogdoches Junior Forum’s Holiday In the Pines.
Instead, president-elect Sarah Jones is wistful of what is missing.
“Oh, it’s so sad. We normally have our entry table here taking tickets,” said Jones at the Fredonia Hotel where the event is held each year.
“We had a meeting in August and I would say almost all of the junior forums around the state had made changes to their fundraisers or completely canceled,” shared Nacogdoches Jr. Forum president Maura Messer.
“It was heartbreaking,” said Messer when the Nacogdoches chapter reached the same decision.
COVID-19 challenges face many non-profits.
Salvation Army’s pandemic challenge is a shortage of ringers and realizing donors may not want to approach the iconic red kettle. The offered solution is a QR code.
“We have a new way that we can do it to where it’s hands free. We can have the Apple pay,” illustrates Heather Brown, a Salvation Army bell ringer.
Another tradition, Christmas Shared Blessings, a mission of Love in the Name of Christ, won’t be canceled.
“However, it will be very different,” said director Patti Goodrum.
Social distancing and only one parent per child can shop for their child from a selection of donated toys. No one wants to tell a child there won’t be presents under the tree.
“Because we are going to have probably somewhere in the neighborhood of three or four hundred children,” said Goodrum.
And toy drives continue. Nacogdoches County Retired Teachers will collect Saturday from ten to 12 at Brookshire Brothers on University Drive.
“It’s easy breezy. Just drop it by,” invited retired science teacher, Donna Christopher.
Not easy is canceling Monday’s Community Wide Thanksgiving Dinner. No way can a buffet dinner be served to hundreds. Instead, packaged dinners will be delivered on Saturday to the most in need.
Challenges bring out the good in people. Donations came rolling into the Junior Forum.
“We are going to be able to fully fund our grants and our scholarships this year,” cheerfully said Messer.
And there’s now time to start planning for next year.
“2021 we are planning on having a return to Holiday in the Pines. We are committed,” said Jones.