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DC area non-profits ask for support as demand for assistance grows

Covid-related financial challenges and inflation are leading more people to ask for assistance.

WASHINGTON — As the holiday season continues, local non-profits are stating their need for support.

On Tuesday, many non-profit organizations promoted Giving Tuesday, an annual tradition that encourages people to show generosity to people in need.

And, over the last few years, the number of people in need of assistance has skyrocketed. While much of the situation has been fueled by financial challenges brought forth by the pandemic, this year’s inflation crisis has made things even worse.

“Inflation is affecting everybody,” said Salvation Army Major Mark Woodcock. “Some more severe than others.”

The Salvation Army, which provides people in the DC region assistance with food, utility payment, and other necessities, said it has seen demand for its services go up.

“And there are people that we always have to turn away, because we just simply don't have the funds,” Woodcock said. “And, so the reality is our phone is always ringing off the hook.”

The DC non-profit Bread for the City surprised many locals when it announced plans before Thanksgiving to close for a week. The move halted its distribution of free gift cards and turkeys to the public.

Why did it make such a decision? Overwhelming demand.

“After serving 16,000 D.C. residents during our Holiday Helpings program, we were overwhelmed by the demand and could not ensure the safety of our staff, volunteers, or community members,” Bread for the City tweeted. “So, we decided to close our centers.”

The Potter’s House, a non-profit café in D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood, also tweeted it’s given out 50,000 meals this year.

Still, it has concerns its efforts in the future may become more challenging as other non-profits also decide to reduce their services.

Despite those challenges, non-profits across DC are still committed to supporting people in need.

“When you give right here in the local area, that money stays right here,” Woodcock said.

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