With Christmas just around the corner, local shelters are asking the public to keep them in mind.
Renae Swanson, marketing coordinator for Hope Harbor, said the shelter is currently in need of food items, trash bags, toilet paper and feminine hygiene products.
“Considering Hope Harbor is a 104-bed shelter, we go through at least 100 rolls a week,” she said. “We also need black garbage bags because we really go through a lot of those, too. We always need non-perishable foods. I like the donations of meat. That is really appreciated and helps stretch our food budget considerably.”
Swanson said Hope Harbor is always in need of toilet paper and feminine hygiene products. According to the shelter’s donation list, it is in need of linens and bedding, children’s and baby supplies, kitchen items and cleaning supplies.
Hope Harbor is also in need of gift certificates for groceries, medicine and haircuts.
Donations to Hope Harbor can be dropped off at its service center, 615 W. First St., during normal business hours — 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. If it is after hours, Swanson said people can drop donated items off at the shelter.
Swanson said Hope Harbor is currently asking for money as part of its year-end campaign. According to a letter sent to potential donors, the contributions go toward addressing the shelter’s long-term goals of education, employment, budgeting and mental health. It adds that all donations are tax deductible.
“Hope Harbor is working very diligently to help our homeless, or near homeless, population to live a sustainable life,” Swanson said. “People can come in and utilize our food pantry if they are running low. That helps people who may be stretching their budget thin this time of year. If they need a gas voucher, we provide those too. We are trying to keep people off the streets and if they need help, we are here.”
At the Salvation Army, Lt. Liza Ayala said the shelter is always in need of canned, non-perishable food items for its food pantry and feeding program. The feeding program provides meals at the shelter for those in need.
“The food pantry is always in need of things like beans, fruits and vegetables,” Ayala said. “Whenever we say vegetables, we get a lot of green beans so we have plenty of those. With the feeding program, things we can always use are big cans of beans, tomato sauce, tomatoes and pasta. We can also use seasonings, especially chili powder to make chili this time of year.”
She added these items are in high demand because if the Salvation Army does not have them on-hand, it has to purchase them itself. Ayala said those who wish to donate items to the Salvation Army can do so by stopping by or by calling (308) 382-4855.
The Salvation Army is currently in the middle of its Red Kettle campaign. Ayala said the organization is about $14,000 ahead of where it was at this time last year.
“I am just overwhelmed by the generosity of this community,” she said. “I am really blessed every time I see the red kettles come in. I really have faith in the Lord that he is going to provide.”
Despite the Salvation Army being ahead of last year in its Red kettle Campaign, Ayala said the organization is in need of volunteer bell ringers. She said those interested in being one can do so online at registertoring.com or by calling the Salvation Army.
“The funds from the Red Kettle campaign go to support all the services that we do here,” Ayala said. “We have to pay our employees, all the utilities and everything that is used in the building. Whenever we need to purchase items for the food pantry or the feeding program, or any repairs we need, the funds go toward those.”