Anchorage nonprofits find themselves in holiday need
The Salvation Army in Anchorage set a goal to raise between $250,000 and $260,000 this year, but is falling short of that this month by about $52,000. With under a week left in 2018, the local nonprofit has made up some ground, but has some distance to cover before its finish line.
"We still find ourselves down around $25,000 to $30,000," said Salvation Army Captain Peter Pemberton. "We're always going to do our best to meet the needs of those that come to our doors, but we will have to adjust some of our budgets accordingly if we do have a shortfall of income."
This year's Red Kettle collections from bell-ringers outside major stores are in line with last year's, but the demand for services has increased.
"We no longer have kettles out," Pemberton said. "However, we do have our Online Red Kettle. People can continue to go there and give up until Jan. 1."
Besides monetary donations, the Salvation Army also is in search of volunteers.
"We have a plethora of ways people can give back," Pemberton said. "We invite anyone interested to check out our options. The need is ongoing in Anchorage due to the earthquake and without the earthquake."
That need also extends to another nonprofit, the American Red Cross of Alaska.
"It's been tremendously taxing, as you can imagine, on volunteers, on staff," said the group's CEO, Tanguy Libbrecht. "But the generosity of our donors has been good so that helps."
The Red Cross is also seeking funds, but its need for volunteers is even more acute.
"We have so many needs it's hard to tell; our focus has been most recently the earthquake here and the fires in California," Libbrecht said. "We've been doing all of our normal outreach on top of everything else. We're still waiting to see how we come out."
One thing is for sure: if there is a need, the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross will be there.
"The bottom line is, we never say no," Libbrecht said. "You can't predict disasters. You just never know. If there is a fire for 10 people we're going to help and if there is a fire for 1,000 people we're going to help. We'll find the funding from somewhere. We always need the volunteers and we will train them."
"This is a fantastic community," Pemberton said. "They made up a lot of ground and we appreciate that a great deal."
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