Holiday Demands Challenge Charities
Bruce, Orlando De, The Florida Times Union
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
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. …