'Close to doubling the numbers we normally serve': Fayetteville Urban Ministry braces for holiday season amid ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- As the holiday season turns the corner, the Fayetteville Urban Ministry is having to approach 2020 a little differently, especially with COVID-19 seeing rising statewide metrics.

The local nonprofit is already keeping busy, accepting waves of donations the last few weeks. Johnny Wilson, the Executive Director of F.U.M., said the need has skyrocketed since March.

"I would say we would easily surpass 15,000, up near 20,000. We'd probably be close to doubling the numbers we normally serve," Wilson said.

Durham Rescue Mission calls for Thanksgiving turkey donations

The ministry has spent most of the year facilitating rent and utility grants to people in need in the greater Fayetteville area. Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they've also had to lose a bit of the personal touch they're accustomed to.

FULL CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

According to Wilson, the outreach normally allows people or families to enter their facility to access the food pantry or clothing closet; however, given the current circumstances, they've had to shut down the closet and provide pre-packed groceries from the pantry.

"Because of COVID, we've moved everything back - because folks can't shop," said Wilson.

A contactless avenue that the Fayetteville Urban Ministry intends to utilize for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Because its in-person clothing option is closed down, in order to avoid too many people touching the items, the ministry is seeing a surplus of certain things. This has led Wilson to slightly adjust the list of donations they are needing.

"Men and boys coats and shoes," said Wilson. "We can always use that."

Wilson noted seeing many people, who were doing well before the pandemic, also needing help nowadays. The consistency in donations has also dropped. He told ABC11 that he hopes the spirit of giving doesn't waver this holiday season.

"The only way we're going to get through everything going on is by being together, being strong, you know, being stronger and better together," Wilson added.

If you would like to donate or help, you can go to the Fayetteville Urban Ministry's website for more information.
Copyright © 2020 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.