Help in demand: Cold snap drives need for assistance

Photo by Michael Buckelew

Photo by Michael Buckelew

COVINGTON -- With the recent drop in temperatures, local nonprofits are seeing an increase in demand for their services.

The Salvation Army is reporting a low stock of coats and increased requests, many from people without heat or without homes.

"We've had a lot of demand for coats to buy as well as give away," Service Center Director Jody Carver said. "We've got a lot of lightweight stuff, but that doesn't do much good in weather like we've been having."

One disabled, elderly man who does not have a vehicle came in searching for a coat but was turned away because there were none to fit him, said Chrissy Busbee, who works at the Salvation Army thrift store. Fortunately, a donation came in Wednesday morning and he was able to get a coat.

"That's a very typical situation," Busbee said. "A lot of families, especially single moms, when the cold weather hit did not have coats they needed for their kids."

Busbee said elderly people are another group in need, noting that many can't afford to pay heating bills and are instead bundling up in their homes.

Busbee said local schools are also calling requesting coats for children who are not dressed for the winter weather.

Following the holidays, the Salvation Army saw a spike in donations, and had a 99 cent sale, where they sold much of their supply of coats, Busbee said. Now, the stock is low again.

To make a donation to the Salvation Army, drop by 5193 Washington St. S.W. in Covington between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. For more information, call 770-786-2107.

Repairers of the Breach, another local thrift store, has also seen an increase in demand for warm clothing.

"We have a lot of people needing food, needing warm clothing, coats and different things like that," said Shirley Smith, CEO of Repairers of the Breach.

Smith said workers there have cleaned out their own closets to help meet the need. Repairers of the Breach sells clothes to the public but also gives items away to people in need. Donations can be made from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays at 5120 Old Brown Bridge Road in Covington.

FaithWorks, a nonprofit that assists people with rent and utility payments, recently saw a record day in terms of money committed, Executive Director Dennis Cheek said. On Jan. 4, the organization committed $2,700 in assistance.

Due to a lack of funding, FaithWorks has limited its assistance to only those residents who have received cut-off notices, Cheek said.

"From a financial standpoint, we are having to do that because we cannot meet demand," he said.

Cheek said the community can support the organization either through making a donation earmarked for FaithWorks to their church or by mailing a donation to P.O. Box 2972, Covington, GA 30015.

FaithWorks will celebrate its fourth anniversary on Jan. 23. Since it opened, the organization has given nearly $550,000 in assistance to 4,600 families and 10,000 individuals, Cheek said.