OKTIBBEHA COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- Most of us want to help our neighbor, but a pandemic economy means keeping an eye on the family budget. Local nonprofits are facing the same challenges as the rest of us. The United Way of North Central MS has seen a change in how they are receiving donations and how much.
“Everyone has felt the impact of the pandemic and our business partners aren’t immune to that, nor are we or the nonprofits that we support,” said executive director of United Way of North Central MS, Brittney Oliver.
She says people still have the same needs they had before the pandemic, and now more people need help.
“One of the things that we’re faced with is there are challenges prior to the pandemic when we’re talking food insecurity or education or just health and well being and those are going to persist throughout the pandemic and long after,” said Oliver.
“I think that everyone is pretty much in survival mode and I believe that people do still have the heart to give it’s just that we have no way of knowing how long this pandemic is going to carry out,” said development and engagement specialist Paulette Ferguson.
Ferguson says many of the givers find themselves in need of help; while Oliver says – she understands the family’s struggles.
“I think we have seen some declines because people have lost jobs and it’s really difficult to provide additional support to nonprofits when you’re trying to make sure your family is taken care of at the same time,” said Oliver.
She wants people to know that they are a community-driven organization and to be community-driven; they must be community supported.
“If we don’t get it from within our community it really limits our ability to develop new initiatives to support our partner agencies who do rely on united way funding to be able to deliver their programs and services,” said Oliver.
Oliver says the United Way is in for the long haul to help the community.
“We’re one of those unique organizations in the community that doesn’t just want a short-term fix we really want to look at the complexity of the issues that our neighbors face and make sure that we have valuable programs that address those needs,” said Oliver.
The team with the United Way of North Central Mississippi encourages those who can and are willing; to donate and make that investment in the community.