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Non-profits struggle with challenges amid COVID-19

Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 3:39 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -It’s the season for giving when many non-profits rely on volunteers and donations. However, due to COVID-19 some organizations are facing greater challenges this year.

The biggest concern many non-profits are facing right now is more people in need due to covid and less funding.

“A lot of non-profits in the area raise their funds through different events and things that usually happen in person. So organizations have had to become creative,” said Brandi Miller, Marketing Director for Sioux Empire United Way.

At Sioux Empire United Way, “Other companies’ employees are still working from home and so those workplace campaigns have really had to evolve and meet companies with where they are at and where their employees are at,” said Miller.

Make-A-Wish events have also been impacted.

“There’re so many events that support our efforts and many of them have had to understandably be canceled, some were postponed, some pivoted to virtual events,” said Sue Salter, President, and CEO of Make-A-Wish South Dakota & Montana.

Because of this, their revenue is down.

“Food and shelter and taking care of people and healthcare are essential things that need to happen,” said Salter.

“We hope that right after people think about those things that we’re next in line because the hope that a wish gives a child battling a critical illness is essential now more than ever.”

The organization is still granting wishes that are safe to grant right now.

At the Salvation Army, funding with their red kettles is running behind by 50 percent.

“We’re not able to be at as many sites as we’ve been able to in the past and we’ve also had some stores where we’ve had to start later than we typically have. So our kettles are down,” said Marcie Priestley, Development Volunteer and Communications Director for Salvation Army.

So they’ve created some digital options like a virtual kettle for people to donate from home.

Volunteering is also down. As many are apart of the vulnerable population.

“Are people who are retired and have a lot more time,” said Priestley

So the non-profit is calling on younger people like high schoolers to help out.

Although it’s been a tough year, these non-profits say people have still been generous

“People are realizing that our organizations need help and need assistance and they are finding ways to meet us where we’re at,” said Miller.

You can visit these non-profits and others here:

Make-A-Wish

Sioux Empire United Way

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army has several volunteer opportunities right now:

The Empire Mall Angel Tree: Each year, the Salvation Army places a toy collection tree inside the Empire Mall in front of Macy’s. Volunteer duties include handing out Angel Tree gift suggestion sheets, answering donor questions, and collecting gifts.

Christmas Basket Distribution/Toy Town: This year’s event will take place on Monday, December 21st, Tuesday, December 22nd and Wednesday, December 23rd. Extra hands are needed to assist parents as they shop through the Toy Shop.

Bell Ringers: This year bell ringing will look a little different. Volunteers are asked to wear masks and maintain social distancing while greeting shoppers at various stores around the community.

The Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation also has a full list of other local Sioux Falls non-profits.

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