Holidays are over, but local nonprofit needs still high: How you can help

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – While the traditional holiday giving season is over, local nonprofits still need help meeting the increasing demand for services due to the pandemic.

For nine months and counting, local nonprofits like Catholic Charities of Jacksonville have been working non-stop to meet the continuous needs of those most affected by the pandemic.

“We are overwhelmed with phone calls, but I know I join other community partners in saying that,” said Nicola Barnack, director of development with Catholic Charities Jacksonville. “It’s very hard to keep going, and I’m proud of our team.”

So far, this organization has provided countless services from food and toy distributions to giving $750,000 to provide rent and utilities to those impacted by the coronavirus.

“We will always do our foundation work, which is providing resources to those who need it the most in their darkest days,” Barnack said.

Several local charities received an extra holiday boost to help them continue to provide essential services, but Barnack said this effort must continue on past the giving season.

Now it’s January, we don’t have another holiday coming up for basically 11 months you know so what does that look like now, is there still that growing need?

“January does slow but that’s just because of the timing, but that doesn’t mean that need is not great,” Barnack said. “We have influx of calls coming in for client services as well as triple the amount of individuals coming to our food pantries.”

If you can’t support local nonprofits monetarily, Barnack said you can volunteer, host a virtual food drive, and reach out to charities to see what help they may need.

She emphasizes it’s an important time to be a helper.

“Our country is clearly hurting. And those that are improvised are feeling the effects and during this pandemic you know those that are the helpers are important to keep supporting those that are in need of it the most,” Barnack said. “At this time, it’s really important for us to become helpers.”

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