Demand is up, volunteers are down, for holiday charityby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Catholic Charities is reporting high demand for its Sponsor a Family program this year -- but a shortage of sponsors. The program identifies needy families who cannot afford holiday gifts or food, and matches them with volunteers who are able to give.
Officials from the charity say their Minneapolis program is short 200 sponsors this year. The program typically serves more than 1,000 people in the Twin Cities each year.
Rebecca Lentz with Catholic Charities says the families they work with are struggling to meet basic needs, such as clothing.
"The [bad] economy has not, in anyone's recent memory, gone this long, and the need has not been this deep for this long," said Lentz. "There are more people who need help than we are anticipating."
Lentz adds the families they work with typically request basic supplies, such as pajamas, socks and alarm clocks.
Sponsor a Family serves more than 1,000 people in the Twin Cities each year. Anyone interested in helping is urged to call Catholic Charities.