Network of Community Ministries is grappling with an increase in expenses and a shortage of volunteers amid school and business closures tied to the coronavirus.
The nonprofit’s most urgent need is for cash donations, said Tina Floyd, Network’s development and marketing director. The nonprofit has begun covering day care expenses for children of Network employees, which has driven up expenses, Floyd said. Additionally, it has hired temporary staff to fill in for a shortage of volunteers, she added.
Network has roughly half the number of volunteers it normally does because most volunteers are older and more vulnerable to the coronavirus, Floyd said. She encourages those who are able and feel comfortable to sign up for a shift.
Typically only 18 volunteers are needed per shift; however, due to adjusted services and a collaboration with Richardson ISD to supply students with meals over the weekends, 22 volunteers are needed per shift.
Along with cash donations and volunteering, Floyd encourages individuals to collect donations for the food pantry by organizing drives in their communities. Bread is in high demand as well as easy boxed meals, such as mac and cheese or pasta, Floyd said.
As of March 16, clients are no longer able to enter the Network headquarters on Sherman Street in Richardson. All food distributions are being picked up from the loading dock, and clothing distributions have been put on pause, according to Network’s website.
Coronavirus closures heighten need for donations, volunteers at Network of Community Ministries in Richardson
A local man whose home lost power in the Oct. 22 tornado gathers supplies from the Network of Community Ministries' pop-up center. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)