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Nonprofit gathering supplies to help community survive the summer

May 5, 2019

Northwest Assistance Ministries is asking for more aid during the time of year they need it the most.

NAM kicked off their annual fundraising campaign, Survival Over Summer, asking the community to donate funds and supplies for their clients. NAM provides financial, medical and nutritious aid to the community members in-need in the northwest Houston area.

Brian Carr, chief advancement officer of NAM, said the need increases as children go on summer break and usual donors leave the area on vacation.

“Families need more food because their children don’t have free lunch or breakfast from school and for many families that’s the only food the kids get in one day,” he said. “Our pediatric health center sees more requests because they’re hungry or malnourished or sick.”

When the initiative started more than 10 years ago, the focus was on food items, Carr said. Since then, NAM has expanded its services including a pediatric health center and their training and learning center, which also needs more help during the summer. NAM has provided groceries for more than 10,000 client visits to their food pantry. The frequency of pantry visits increases during summer months.

“Meals on wheels requests go up — we’re doing about 800 meals a day and we’re only getting funding for about 650, so there’s a shortfall there,” Carr said. “We’re always short on volunteers for the summer. People are taking vacations, so we need plenty more volunteers to drive the routes. Everything from food to volunteers to financial resources, even things like (unopened) over-the-counter medicine.”

NAM helped families in the northwest Houston area relocate to other areas, rebuild their homes and pay their bills following Hurricane Harvey. Carr said the nonprofit still must take care of the community’s needs outside of Harvey as well.

Carr said NAM received generous donations and volunteers in the two years following Hurricane Harvey, but wants to remind people that there is more work to do.

“We always worry, because of how generous the community has been the last couple of years, at what point do we start to see donor fatigue?” he said. “Every dollar helps.”

For more information, visit the Northwest Assistance Ministries’ website.

chevall.pryce@chron.com

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