Charities notice difference in giving, need as city grapples with COVID-19 fallout

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The fallout from the coronavirus led to over 170,000 applications for unemployment in two weeks. Without jobs, some people pull back from donating to charitable organizations.

These organizations keep people healthy and alive. COVID-19 even forced the Dove Recovery House for Women to postpone their April 15 fundraiser. It's an event they depend on for around 20% of their operations budget.

"This poses a great threat to our organization, and the sustainability is we only have about two months of operating expenses as it stands right now," Wendy Noe, executive director, said.

The Dove House just launched a campaign today called Fund a Dove. The organization funds a 24/7 recovery program for 40 women per night. They are hoping donors will sponsor each of their women. You can find more information about the effort and organization by visiting doverecoveryhouse.org.

Meanwhile, larger organizations like Gleaners Food Bank and Wheeler Mission are seeing some people giving above their normal donations. It is important to remember the needs for their services increased exponentially too.

"We've had some donors say I'm so sorry I can't give I've just lost my job, we've had other donors say I want to double my donation," Steve Kerr, chief development officer with Wheeler Mission, said.

Kerr said the Marion County Health Board opened two additional shelters for those they serve. Those temporary shelters are operating at no cost to Wheeler Mission. Also, with the help of the mission's temporary staff, the Neighborhood Christian Fellowship Church also offered them a space.

"We've had some donors say, 'I'm so sorry I can't give I've just lost my job,'" Kerr explained. "We've had other donors say, 'I want to double my donation.'"

If you would like to help the mission continue serving, visit their donation page at wheelermission.org/donate-to-wheeler/.

Gleaners agrees, they are noticing some people giving more than normal. The food bank is also spending between $400,000 and $500,000 more each week.

"I think Hoosiers have an instinctively selfless style of pitching in to help and we're seeing evidence of that every minute of every day," John Elliott, Ppesident & CEO, said.

Even $1,000,000 from Jim Irsay and $750,000 from central Indiana community groups goes quickly.

"I'm not a worrier by nature, but I do worry a bit that people will think we don't need them and we do," Elliot admitted.

If you would like to support Gleaners, you can do so by heading over to www.gleaners.org/donate/.

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