Holiday Demands Challenge Charities

Article excerpt

Some Northside charitable groups say that so far, they are

receiving adequate donations for the holiday season.

But as the demand increases, so does the possibility that they

may not be able to completely fill it, organizers say.

"We're holding our own, but of course there's not enough to go

around," said Carl Gay, president of the Northside Christian

Service Center, 8671 Lem Turner Road, which helps about 100

families a month.

"We are accepting donations. It's going better now, but there's

always a need for more."

Last week, officials from social services agencies in

Jacksonville, such as the Clara White Mission and Christian

Recovery Ministries, formerly known as the City Rescue Mission,

said they weren't receiving enough donations to meet the record

numbers of requests for help.

Social workers and social service officials say larger families

and higher numbers of senior citizens are seeking help this year

in part because of welfare reform. They say that Florida may be

feeling the effect of welfare reform more than other states

because of growth and higher numbers of immigrants and senior

citizens.

On the Northside, however, the Rev. Jan Goodman Sr. said his

organization has been seeing a need in the community before the

welfare debate even surfaced.

Goodman is pastor of One Accord Gospel Temple at 5406 Avenue B.

He said there are people who live near the church who have a

constant need for food and clothing.

Thanks to the support from church members, Goodman said

donations are given consistently, sometimes from the indigent,

to meet the demand.

"We have not experienced a dropoff in donations in the

community because we've established a clientele," said Goodman,

who says his church helps about 100 people a month. "People give

us donations all year around."

But Jim Smith hasn't experienced such luck.

He is the facilities manager at the Youth Crisis Center on

Soutel Drive. The center counsels and provides various services

to runaways and truants between 10 and 17 years old. …