By Analiz González
The masses are cramming into public buses, the house next door is foreclosing and the cost of food keeps going up. Most of us can feel our pockets thinning; but others feel it in their gut.
Jackie Belt, director of client assistance at the Buckner Center for Humanitarian Aid in Dallas, says he can’t deny the growing need.
“The needy need more and the givers have less to give,” he said. “Donors themselves are hurting. A lot of them are just trying to meet the needs of their own.”
Belt added that the economy’s problems were magnified by Ike, which brought a number of people into the Dallas area, sometimes cramming up to four families into one household.
“Our money just doesn’t go far enough to help everyone but we are meeting a lot of needs,” he said. “Some people are giving little things: a pair of socks, a bag of underwear. Anything makes a difference. We appreciate every small gift.”
According to Dunham and Co., a Christian fundraising consultant, almost half of all Christians have cut back on giving with the weakening economy and rising cost in food and gasoline.
Markesha Beal, administrative assistant at the Wynnewood Community Services Center, said she is seeing more clients come in for financial assistance, job assistance and food.
“People are getting laid off their jobs more,” Beal said. “The need is greater, but we have also been able to help a greater number of people.”
Beal added that the number of people attending church services at Wynnewood is also growing. “As they are going through their financial crisis, they are looking to God, and that’s a good thing.”
Marsha Mills is a Buckner employee directing Goslin Ministries, a food pantry in Oak Cliff, Texas stocked mostly by the Texas Food Bank.
“So far, in the past nine months, we have served 29,707 people, which is about equal to what we served in all 12 months last year,” she said.
Mills added that about 250 people who evacuated from Ike have also benefited from Goslin Care, but the majority of those in need are from the area.
“A lot of it is due to the economic situation,” Mills said. “Between 33 and 40 percent of our families have been new. They have not sought services from us before.”
To donate to Buckner International, please click here.
How You Can Help:
1) Give a little. Little gifts and donations can make a big difference. Something as small as a pack of pencils or a box of crayons can help a child feel confident in school. The Buckner Center for Humanitarian Aid in Dallas accepts donations of all sizes. To learn more, call 214-367-8080 or click here to make an online donation.
2) Serve. If you have time to give or a talent to share, you can do a lot for a family in need. Find out where your time and talents can be plugged in by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to learn about opportunities in your area.
3) Pray. William Temple, once a priest in the Church of England, said the following “When I pray, coincidences happen, and when I don't pray, they don't.” If you can’t do a lot, talk to the one who always can.