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Shelters Hurting, Kitchens Thriving In Winter Months

volunteers

Some non-profits in Bloomington are having trouble bringing in volunteers this holiday season.

Daniel Watts, president of Interfaith Winter Shelter in Bloomington, says they always have trouble finding help around the holidays.

Sara Frommer is one of many volunteer coordinators at the Interfaith’s First United Church location. She’s been volunteering in the position for four years.

She says Interfaith is scrambling for volunteers this year, especially for shifts on the weekend.

“There are lots of empty spots on the shifts, and that’s a considerable concern, because in the middle of the night you have to have several people there,” Frommer says.

Interfaith shelters are only open at night, so volunteer shifts often go late, or start early in the morning, and Frommer says working people have a hard time fitting it in.

Community Kitchen, on the other hand, is having a bountiful holiday season. Executive Director Vicki Pierce says she's seen a spike in volunteers because of what she calls the giving – or guilt – season.

Pierce says her kitchen has an advantage because of their place in the community.

“One of the things we benefit from is the fact that we've been here for 34 years, so we've been around so long, our volunteer experiences are very hands-on and simple,” Pierce says.

The Community Kitchen says they also have a list of back up volunteers, just in case.

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