Friday, March 24, 2006

Rochester VoA Faces Shortage

Hey everyone. Just a heads up. The Volunteers of America in Rochester is trying to weather a severe downtick in donations right now. The D&C ran this article on Tuesday so you might have missed it.

Typically, the VOA sees a surge in donations the final two weeks of the year, mainly from people seeking last-minute tax write-offs, said Catherine Yeomans, community relations manager for Rochester's VOA.

That didn't happen in 2005, she surmises, because many people had already donated to help victims of Hurricane Katrina and either had nothing left to give or had tax write-offs already in hand.

"Sending to Katrina is a wonderful thing, but now we're really lacking here in Rochester," Yeomans said. "Our warehouse is empty. Our stores are sparse. And our stores help fund our programs."

The VOA, which provides emergency shelter, drug rehabilitation, food and child care to those in need, is strangely alone in its plight. The two other agencies that run large-scale thrift stores, the Salvation Army and the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired-Goodwill Industries of Greater Rochester Inc., are flush with clothing and seasonal items, although officials were quick to add that donations are always welcome.

So if you're thinking of getting around to some spring cleaning or getting that old couch out of the garage, doing it this weekend and giving to the VoA could make some big differences in quite a few peoples lives.


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