GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Giving Tuesday is here and people involved in the nonprofit sector say the pandemic is driving up the need for more support.
Michigan Nonprofit Association Vice President Kelley Kuhn said donations to nonprofits haven’t reached pre-pandemic levels.
“Michigan nonprofits have been responding since the beginning of the pandemic,” Kuhn stated in a Tuesday news release. “They are providing essential services to our communities while at the same time trying to stay afloat. The need for support for nonprofits is greater than ever as many have been forced once again to cancel or scale back major fundraisers due to the ongoing pandemic.”
Silent Observer is among the organizations looking for support.
Tips submitted to the program go toward providing justice for victims of crime and improving safety on the streets of West Michigan. Rewards help fuel those tips, but Chris Cameron with Silent Observer says money has been scarce this year.
“Donations have been slow this year I’m sure because of COVID and the state of the economy. A donation at this time would really help,” Cameron said.
Silent Observer exists for victims like 22-year-old Manuael Salgado. He was shot and killed on the city’s northwest side in December 2019. Nearly two years later, no one has been arrested.
Salgado is the latest homicide victim Silent Observer highlighted in a push to provide his family closure. Silent Observer is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to his killer’s arrest.
The program also organizes outreach programs in schools and out in the community.
Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity is looking for donations, but not money.
This year, the nonprofit is asking for tools for volunteers to continue building homes for families, most of which are first-time buyers.
“Our goal is to have a safe, decent and affordable place for people to live,” Development Director Dave Rozman said. “Right now in our community, there’s a housing crisis going on. There’s a lot of people in the community who are just barely making ends meet. If we can give them a hands up, it allows them to go from just surviving in the community to thriving in the community.”
This group is currently working on several homes. Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity is looking to expand its reach next year to Hudsonville.
Right now, the organization is asking for tools like air compressors, nail guns, tape measures or gift cards.
“Our tools are getting used sometimes five to six days a week by volunteers and yes, they get worn down pretty quick,” Rozman said. “We need to make sure we have good tools so if a volunteer shows up, we want to make sure they can do the work that day.”
You can find Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity’s wish list the list at https://www.lakeshorehabitat.org/givingtoolsday.
Michigan Veteran Homes at Grand Rapids is asking for financial donations to support restoring the Hebe fountain. Contributions can be made online or by check. The Grand Rapids group’s wish list also includes snacks and new movie releases on DVD, which can be dropped off at the Michigan Veteran Homes’ main entrance, under the white canopy.