Posted 7:01 AM 1/4/2013 : Local charities still need help after the holiday season
TUCSON- During the holiday season, the giving spirit always surfaces. Donations pour in to charitable organizations. But now that Christmas has come and gone, we often forget there are still a lot of people out there that need our help.
Major Leslie Clement of the Salvation Army says now is actually a great time to give. It's the next three months, January, February, March, when the weather is still cold," Major Clement says.
That means Tucson's homeless will be seeking warm clothes and a place to hunker down at the Salvation Army's Hospitality House. "We see a rise in people coming to us for shelter, for clothing, for a warm cup of coffee and generally speaking we will see a great need there," Major Clement says.
The need picks right back up at the start of summer. "We need to cool people off, we need water, we need people to donate money so we can take kids to the park," Major Clement says.
It's the same situation over at the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona.
"People think of feeding the hungry during the holidays and they pretty much forget the rest of the year," says Jack Parris. "Our donations drop off dramatically in January and the first quarter of the year."
Luckily last month's Winterhaven Festival of Lights was a success, bringing in nearly $21,000 in donations for the food bank.
But Parris says it's still not enough to make a dent in the food bank's year-end deficit. "After November of 2012 our monetary donations were off by about $400,000," Parris says.
To make sure that doesn't happen again in 2013, Parris hopes to get a jump-start on donations now.
The Community Food Bank's "Citrus Gleaning Program" begins January 22. "We are able to pick a large amount of citrus to supplement the food boxes that we give out to our clients here," Parris says.
People can also help out by volunteering or donating cash throughout the year.
For more information on how you can help the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, call (520) 882-3292.
For more information about how to help the Salvation Army, call (520) 795-9671.
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