Saturday, July 11, 2020
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Nonprofits in Orange County Look to find Donations and Volunteers

Southern California nonprofit organizations are struggling to find donations and volunteers to support the increasing need for aid during the quarantine. 

With the overwhelming number of individuals seeking shelter and food from first responders charities, nonprofit organizations are looking into new ways to help those in need. Over 20 million Americans have lost their income due to the stay at home orders given by the government, resulting in many businesses shutting down. Many people are now looking towards the 1.5 million nonprofit organizations for rent money, food and clothing.

To help the elders in his community, Rev. James Pike of Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Huntington Beach started a nonprofit with the help from Waste Not OC Coalition, which recovers unwanted food and gives it to local food pantries. Many seniors have been calling his church for help due to the fear of leaving their homes. He has served 850 vacuum-sealed meals in Huntington Beach, Santa Ana and Seal Beach since the end of March.  

The Food Pantry at Congregational Church of Chatsworth in the west San Fernando Valley has seen a 50% drop in donations with a 400% increase in those needing help. They are open Monday through Saturday for food box pickup and Sunday by appointment according to Co-Administrator Kim Olsen. 

The food boxes consist of a balanced meal of meat, starch and vegetables, but the pantry has been struggling to find enough for each box. According to Olsen, pantry Co-Administrator Ana Cardenas went to grocery stores and brought pasta with her own money to finish the food boxes. 

“We are delaying payments whenever possible,” Olsen said.

Children’s items like formula and diapers are often not donated. Junior League of Riverside is a children’s nonprofit organization that helps children in the Riverside and San Bernardino communities get the diapers that they need. 

“We found a niche that needs to be filled and we are here to help,” Mandy Hyde, fund development manager of the Junior League of Riverside, said in a video release.

In order to help keep children in clean diapers until August, the Junior League of Riverside needs 10,500 diapers. As of now, only 5,000 are available in their stockroom. Typically the organization gets a large discount from manufacturers and would help approximately 50-75 children per month. However,  since the pandemic, they have helped 276 children in a single week. 

Chloe Mosier is a Staff Writer. She can be reached at mosierc@uci.edu.