NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Giving Tuesday is normally the Tuesday right after Thanksgiving. It’s a time when community members are encouraged to make charitable donations around the holidays.
But now, a national movement has brought Giving Tuesday back earlier this year as the country tries to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Salvation Army Hampton Roads is taking part in that movement this Tuesday, and is asking for donations to help the organization help others.
“I’ve never as an officer had to determine whether or not my staff was essential or non-essential… ‘non-essential’ means they get furloughed. That is a huge undertaking [for] not only the Salvation Army, but employers across Hampton Roads [who] have had to make decisions they thought they would never make,” said Maj. James Allison, area commander of the Salvation Army Hampton Roads
Allison says thanks to their partners, they start every day with their pantries full. But by the end of their drive-through operation, the shelves are bare.
“We have seen a 120-percent increase of our drive-through food pantry. That’s indicative of the fact that people are in need. That people are hurting. That food is a necessary resource in order for people to survive and live,” Allison said.
Allison says they jumped on board with Giving Tuesday because they know the hardest of times are still ahead.
The need for food and donations is apparent now, and they want to be prepared for the future. He believes the community will step in and help, as they always do, here in Hampton Roads.
“As we talk about rent and utilities and food right now, that’s an immediate need, but the greater needs are going to [be] service in June, July and August. I’m thankful the governor put a hold on evictions and power cut-offs and so forth, that’s great for now. But once that moratorium is lifted and cut off, notices become effective, folks are going to be three, four, maybe five months behind,” he explained.
The good news is, they’ve already helped 56 people pay their rent, and hundreds pay their utilities.
While you still can donate dry and canned goods, they are encouraging monetary donations so they can help with rent and utilities.