HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Downtown Rescue Mission finds joy in giving to as many people as possible. But, as the weather warms up and we move into the spring and summer months, employees say the amount of donations brought in dwindles.
That puts a strain on the amount of food and clothing they give away. Those with the mission expect to give away more clothing and food items in 2017 than ever.
"This is exciting cause we're able to help a lot more people. But it's also kind of scary because if you look at our donation cycles, typically we get a lot of food donated in the fall around holidays when people are thinking about giving," Director of Food Services John Niemeyer said. "But then, around spring and summer there's not a lot going on as far as food coming in but the need never goes away."
In 2014, the mission gave out 10,000 pounds of food from its food pantries. The next year, around 33,000 pounds of food went to help the community. In 2016, that number grew to more than 87,000 pounds. In January 2017, the mission donated more than 11,000 pounds of food - it's largest number yet.
The outreach of clothing donation also continues to grow. In 2016, the mission gave away more than 41,000 clothing items. In January 2017, those with the mission gave out more than 4,500 pieces of clothing.
The mission allows people in need to receive three full outfits with accessories each month. Those with the mission don't expect this need to slow down either.
"It's an area where we see an increasing need and also growth of our service," Niemeyer said. "But, it's also scary too in that we also need to have donors that are giving to us then we can continue to help those in need."
The Downtown Rescue Mission is always in need of monetary donations but they also appreciate clothing and nonperishable food items as well as volunteers. If you would like to help with mission's outreach, call (256)536-2441 or visit the Huntsville campus located at 1400 Evangel Drive.