Network of Community Ministries in Richardson faces dire donation, volunteer shortage ahead of the holidays

Volunteers help with a variety of tasks, from filling food pantry orders to sorting items in the Clothing Closet. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)
Volunteers help with a variety of tasks, from filling food pantry orders to sorting items in the Clothing Closet. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)

Volunteers help with a variety of tasks, from filling food pantry orders to sorting items in the Clothing Closet. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)

As the holidays approach, officials with local nonprofit Network of Community Ministries said they are in desperate need of volunteers and donations.

The organization has remained at a peak number of clients since the pandemic began, Development and Marketing Director Tina Floyd said.

“Before COVID-19, we were probably seeing for our food pantry about 40 families per day,” she said. “Since COVID-19, we're probably running more between 140-150 per day.”

Around 10 volunteers are needed at each of the three shifts per day, Floyd said. Volunteers help with a variety of tasks, from filling food pantry orders to sorting items in the Clothing Closet. Currently, there are between three and five volunteers per shift.

“Each of our shifts are severely depleted right now,” Floyd said.


Network has also seen a shortage in toy donations to its yearly Toyland Express, which provides Christmas gifts for families in need, Floyd said.

“We really attribute that to not as many corporate groups that are in their workplace and doing toy drives,” she said.

An Amazon Wishlist has been set up so individuals can donate without leaving their home, Floyd said. Monetary donations are also welcomed, she added.

If community needs remain at a high level and the number of volunteers remains depleted, the nonprofit will be forced to cut back on certain services, such as the Clothing Closet, Floyd said.

“Hopefully we are not faced with that decision,” she said. “That's why we're trying to keep up this push for volunteers because we really want to keep the services going.”

Those who wish to donate or volunteer can find more information at www.thenetwork.org.
By Makenzie Plusnick
Makenzie graduated from Tarleton State University in 2019 with a degree in communications. While in school, she interned at the Weatherford Democrat and was editor of Texan News Service, a news outlet at Tarleton. She enjoys true crime podcasts, riding horses, and spending time with her dog.


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