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Some Indiana not-for-profits are experiencing a record number of requests for assistance, despite experiencing a decline in donations and volunteers. 

“The need is greater than we have ever experienced before,” said Vinal Lee, a pastor and Director of Salvation Army Fountain Square.

He says the growing need isn’t just for toys. “A lot of requests for rent and utility assistance,” Lee said.

Lee says the pandemic has played a major part. 

“COVID has really put people in a position they have never really been in before,” Lee said.

It’s a problem facing many Indiana communities.  

In Bartholomew County, more than 2,800 children have requested assistance through their holiday helpline—the highest in years. 

“During the holiday season, the need is intensified,” Lee said.

Organizations are experiencing a decline in both donations and volunteers.  

“With our overall Christmas campaign, we are trending a little bit behind where we were at last year,” Lee said.

“When there isn’t anyone out there who can work to get paid, there’s not enough people out there to volunteer,” said Indianapolis Toys for Tots Civilian Director, Sabrina Young. “They’re dwindling.”

Young says the challenges can lead to less opportunity to help those who need it most this holiday season. 

“When donations are down, somewhere I have to cut,” Young said.

That’s why not-for-profits are asking for the community’s help during this season of giving.  

They’re encouraging the community to donate funds or their time to ensure every Hoosier has a Christmas to remember.

To learn more about the Salvation Army or Toys for Tots, click on the links attached.