SAN ANTONIO – Our local nonprofits in San Antonio need help from the community now more than ever due to COVID-19 affecting its daily operations.
With an overwhelming response from the community, 36 nonprofit organizations reached out to KSAT Community to be potentially featured for Wishlist Wednesday.
Instead of highlighting one nonprofit for Wishlist Wednesday this week, KSAT Community will be hosting Giving Tuesday to help 36 organizations.
If you would like to learn more about how West Avenue Compassion needs support during the pandemic, please see below on the Q&A from the nonprofit.
Q. What is the mission/goal of the nonprofit?
A. Meet the immediate needs of our community while furnishing them the tools to move forward.
Q. How does the nonprofit help the community?
A. West Avenue Compassion (WAC), established in 2009 as a food pantry serving 13 families, has grown to serve over 4,000 clients annually in diverse areas. We have consistently been a model agency for the San Antonio Food Bank (receiving 5 Golden Apple Awards since we first began our partnership) while keeping our food cost level. Thus, in keeping with our mission to meet the immediate needs of the underserved of our community while giving them the tools to move forward, we have expanded our food pantries to meet new demands with a community garden; a growing job/education center and job readiness clothing pantry; and a range of other offerings from health and life-skills classes to voter registration and tax preparation. Our approach to engaging the community has expanded our reach so that nearly half of our annual client base comes from parts of the city beyond our immediate area.
Q. How has COVID-19 impacted your nonprofit?
A. In the last five weeks we have added 434 new families to our client base, a 66% increase to our average weekly families served prior to the pandemic. We anticipate the continuation of this increase well beyond the time the restrictions are lifted.
We are in the process of gathering our community partners in order to provide resources for our client’s immediate needs and carry over with them when the pandemic has passed.
With the increased number of families and social distancing, paid security has been added to ensure safety in our parking lot.
Increased number of work hours for volunteers due to social distancing guidelines. Our preparation requires pre-packaging of items to be distributed which would normally be conducted by numerous volunteers the day of distribution. Social distancing has limited the number of volunteers we can have at one time, so we have added two days for pre-packaging with 24 volunteers rather than 47 that has added up to 841.5 volunteers hours in a 5 week period.
The custodial staff has increased from one day a week to three, for sanitizing the facility after volunteers leave.
We have redistributed funds/inventory from our Choice Pantry for an increased number of families being served. Which will need to be restocked once restrictions are lifted and we are able to re-open that part of our community services.
Q. What type of donations do you need?
A. WAC is in need of quality food for the growth of families. Food donations may include cereal, meats, rice, beans, frozen prepared foods, eggs, milk, etc. We do have a walk-in freezer and two walk-in coolers that can hold the items that require refrigeration and freezers.
We are also in need of gloves and masks, hand sanitizers, and disinfectants to keep our volunteers safe and healthy.
Q. Do you need volunteers?
A. We could use volunteers and a small scale. The greatest need for volunteers right now is on Tuesdays, between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. We could handle safely with the restrictions on distancing about six to eight volunteers.
Q. How can the community help?
A. The community can help by donating monetarily through our website. Monetary donations have the greatest impact as we can serve a family for about $1.40 each week because of our partnerships with the Food Bank and local retail stores.
Food donations/supplies can be dropped off on Mondays between 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or Thursdays from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
10715 West Avenue, San Antonio, Texas 78213
To see the full list of KSAT Community Giving Tuesday nonprofits featured, click here.
KSAT Community operates in partnership with University Health System, Energy Transfer and Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union.