(WYTV) – The holiday season is fast approaching, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are worried about how they’re going to make their holiday happen.
While many hope they have a COVID-free Christmas, many organizations in the community who provide resources to those in need know that may not be the reality.
“We don’t want to wait last minute because you never know. We know there were shortages. People are scared going out, so we’re really trying to plan ahead,” said Roxann Sebest of United Way of the Mahoning Valley.
The United Way of the Mahoning Valley has been hosting a delivery service since April for shut-in residents or others who can’t get themselves out to buy essential items.
“They’re not going to be able to get out. They haven’t been able to get out at all over the last few months, so how are they going to get out to get themselves something for the holidays,” Sebest said.
They plan to continue this service through the holiday season and into the new years, but one challenge they may face is food shortages. This is something the Salvation Army is already seeing.
“We’ve had a few problems, and especially with Thanksgiving, we’ve had a few items like cranberry sauce and few others that the grocers say they can’t get yet or things they may not be able to get at all,” said Major Paul Moore of the Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army plans to distribute Thanksgiving boxes to everyone who signs up, even if they have to swap traditional items for an available alternative.
After that, they’ll focus their efforts on Christmas.
“We’re concerned about raising the proper funds because we are not sure that we can have people out in the stores collecting. We don’t know if shoppers will be out. Plus our concerns are getting the right resources and the toys that we need,” Moore said.
Moore says that anyone in need of help this holiday should reach out because there is still time to sign up for a Thanksgiving box.
The United Way is currently at capacity, but they encourage people to call 211 to find a service that can best help their needs.