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North Alabama nonprofits struggle to collect donations during the pandemic

Many nonprofits typically try to collect common items like toilet paper or canned food, but because of the pandemic, those staples are in short supply and they haven't been receiving as much.

Posted: Nov 12, 2020 9:54 PM
Updated: Nov 12, 2020 10:38 PM

Charities across North Alabama are gearing up for the holiday season, but many of them are struggling to collect donations because of the pandemic.

Many nonprofits typically try to collect common items like toilet paper or canned food, but because of the pandemic, those staples are in short supply and they haven't been receiving as much.

Now, they're asking people to go online and donate money.

"In our line of work, we do have to deal with a lot of situations. I don't think anyone was prepared for a situation like this," said Jessica Bumbalough with CASA of Madison County.

Bumbalough walks into her office every day, brainstorming ways to help those in need.

"We're needing those donations again," said Bumbalough.

She works for CASA of Madison County, a group that helps elderly people and those who are home-bound. With coronavirus numbers rising in North Alabama, she is working harder than ever.

"We know that it's even more important now to keep our clients safe at home," said Bumbalough.

She says CASA typically collects items like:

"Cleaning supplies, hygiene items, toilet paper, paper products," said Bumbalough.

The pandemic has made that difficult.

"Some of our donors say 'we really want to bring it, but we can't find it,'" said Bumbalough.

Another project CASA focuses on is building ramps at homes for people in wheelchairs, but she says coronavirus has made that a challenge, too.

"Whereas a ramp may have cost us somewhere around 300 something dollars, now, it's costing us 600," said Bumbalough.

CASA of Madison County isn't the only organization being impacted.

"Donations do seem to be down a little," said Lynn Bullard with the North Alabama Coalition for the Homeless.

Bullard is busy trying to collect blankets and coats, but, right now, she has a nearly empty box.

"Most of our dropoff sites are churches and congregations. [They] of course, are coming back, but not to the extent that we did before the pandemic," said Bullard.

Both groups are asking people in North Alabama to give this holiday season, whether that's in person or online.

"We believe in our mission. We believe that what we do matters and we believe that we are doing good in our community and if we're not able to do that, it's kind of like you're a little lost," said Bubmalough.

If you would like to donate to either organizations, go to:

https://casamadisoncty.org/

http://www.nachcares.org/

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