Categorized | Community, News

Donations at Crisis Center reach record lows before holiday rush

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Millington Crisis Center Director Lois Wilber takes down a number of a client needing assistance on monthly bills.

The mission statement created by the Millington Crisis Center 25 years ago is still very relevant today.

“The Millington Crisis Center Ministry was founded in 1987 by volunteers to coordinate community efforts and resources in meeting the needs of Millington area families faced with crisis.”

As the holiday season approaches, the trend of giving to the Crisis Center is on a downward slide. The Crisis Center is not funded by the government and with donations at an all-time low, Director Lois Wilber said it’s been hard fulfilling the Center’s mission.

“We can’t even meet the material needs of our clients if we don’t have the resources,” she acknowledged. “We can’t meet the financial needs of our clients. I had to tell a lady today, ‘I don’t have cash. I can’t help you with cash.’ She needs to go back to the doctor. She’s having a terrible time.”

From money needed to help on medical bills to payment for ulities, the Center has had limited resources.

“We operate just by donations,” Wilber said. “We get nothing from the government. The use of this building is from the city of Millington. We are operating on donations from the community only. Some people know that, a lot don’t. I know there are a lot of good causes out there. There are many causes. The difference is we’re putting money where it needs to be.”

Money donated to the Crisis Center goes to residents in the 38053 zip code and the Millington Central High School feeder school areas. The Center does limit money given out to a family to $200 a year. But family can still receive help with food, clothes and other materials.

According to the Crisis Center’s Monthly Report for June, the Center took in slightly more than $5,400. But it granted $5,734.54 to 440 individuals.

The next month the $4,755.70 deposited was granted out to 94 families. But in August the number of families in need nearly doubled to 185. And the Center could only give out $1,495.76 after depositing $1,568.55.

“We were going to write this long letter,” Wilber acknowledged. “We had this long letter about, ‘If you could please donate.’ I don’t think people realize how hard it is. This summer I had to say, ‘No,’ to some of the most horrible cases I’ve ever seen. Everybody is having it tough. So many people are losing there jobs. And there are not enough jobs to find.”

With a thin job market, it has been harder for individuals to continue to donate to the Crisis Center. Because giving donated money for gas, rent, and utilities, the Center also assist those in need with clothing, food, and baby, personal hygiene  and household items.

The Center also has a terra recycling program receiving a variety of items from cereal bags to diapers. Wilber noted with Halloween and Christmas around the corner, the recycling program will also take candy bags and individual candy wrappers.

Another program is making it’s return to the Crisis Center with Toys for Tots. The Center has conducted its own toy drive in recent years but will now be rejoining the Toys for Tots effort because there will be a sign-up and pickup location in Millington making it more conventent for those in need.

“With Christmas coming, we do know we’ll still have some people we’ll have to supply toys for,” Wilber added. “We’re willing to try to take care of that.”

The needs of several residents in the area are growing. And Wilber sees those faces often coming through doors at 8133 Wilkinsville Road.

For more information on the terra recycling and donating call 872-HELP or e-mail millingtoncrisiscenter@gmail.com.

“We have very low overhead because we’re all volunteers,” Wilber concluded. “And all we’re trying to do is help our neighbors. And if the people of the greater Millington area could see their way to helping us, we can help more.”

thomas.sellers@journalinc.com

Go to: Millington-News.com

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