The Salvation Army in Tyler is seeing more demand for its services and is asking for donations.
Many who were paying their own way before the outbreak of the coronavirus are out of work and need financial help, the organization said Wednesday.
“We are already seeing the effects and expect that to grow significantly as this situation plays out,” Captain Nicole Parker said. “So many people living with extremely tight budgets aren’t able to skip just one paycheck, much less weeks or months without pay. They are turning to us for help.”
The Salvation Army’s services include helping people pay housing, medical and utility bills.
“There is a concern that the effect of this unprecedented event could be felt for years,” Captain Bobby Parker said. “We want to be here to provide basic needs to those we already serve and to have plenty for the new generation of need caused by this virus.”
The increased need is coming at a time when some of Salvation Army’s fundraising events have been canceled and it is spending more to make sure its facilities are as germ-free as possible.
If a resident or staff member gets sick, isolation/quarantine areas will be established, additional healthcare will be needed, and staff needs will increase, the statement said.
Public support is essential, the statement said.
“If those able are willing to help those who are in need, our state and nation will likely rise out of this devastating situation more quickly with fewer residual effects on the men, women and children suffering right now,” Nicole Parker said. “The Salvation Army is committed to serving those who need our help, and we are thankful for generous public support that allows us to do so.
“We don’t want to turn anyone in need away, and the only way we can accomplish this is through generous public support,” she added.
People can give online at give.salvationarmytexas.org, by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY or by mailing a check to 633 N. Broadway, Tyler TX 75702.
The agency is accepting donations of nonperishable food and hygiene products. Those who want to donate these products are asked to call 903-592-4361 to arrange a drop-off time.
The Parkers said that the agency cannot put people to work who show up asking to volunteer. All volunteers are required to go through training.
“We are working to continue as many services to the community as possible during this unprecedented time,” Bobby Parker said.