It’s a trend that other area nonprofits are seeing as well.
“It is unfortunate that the increase in need for services provided has grown so quickly,” the Rev. Dr. Stuart Baskin, board president for PATH, said in the written release. “Referral services between the agencies is helping, but we want to get the word out that the season of giving is now; not just for PATH but for all service agencies. Need knows no season.”
The food pantry at PATH saw an increase of 30 percent from last July, and prescription medication distributed through PATH has seen more than a 10 percent increase in new clients served during the first half of 2012.
Representatives from different agencies agree: the economy is still having an effect.
“I think everybody expected the trend to go the other direction by now, but it hasn’t,” said Zoe Lawhorn, director of development for Meals On Wheels. Meals On Wheels also is bracing for more governmental funding cuts, she said.
“We are seeing new faces come through our doors,” said Sharlyn Cannady, executive director for St. Paul Children’s Foundation. “Some are families that just a few months ago were doing OK.”
Nora Reyes, director of public relations and community outreach for Meals On Wheels, said in a written release that nonprofits are fortunate to operate in a “generous community like Tyler.
“Not only is the support from individuals great, but also from other organizations like PATH,” she said. “If we can help each other, we do our best to lend a hand, because after all, we share a common mission of improving the lives of those in need.”
Representatives stressed that giving didn’t have to be inconvenient and that even small donations count.
“A $20 or $10 online donation can make a difference,” Vel Williamson, PATH Week coordinator, said. “We can parlay that $20 to $60 just because of our nonprofit status.”
For more information, visit www.pathhelps.org, www.mealsonwheelseasttexas.org and www.stpaulchildren.org.