TAMPA, Fla. - The holiday season is upon us, and while this is usually an exciting time of year, the need among families this holiday season is greater than ever before.
On Monday morning, Metropolitan Ministries opened up their Holiday Tent locations as they prepare to serve thousands of families across the Bay Area. However, this year, the need for donations and volunteers is at a high, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Metro Ministries was preparing to feed about 40,000 families this holiday season, but now they expect that number to climb to about 50,000 families. When they opened their first ever online registration back on Oct. 28 for families to register for assistance, they were inundated with requests. They had so many requests for help during those first few hours, the server crashed. The site is now back up and running, but the requests continue to flood in.
In light of the increase in need, Metro Ministries has expanded the number of locations that they have available for residents to make sure everyone can get the help that they need. In addition to their regular Holiday Tent locations, they will also have 65 other partner locations which will cover six counties across the Bay Area.
In order to make all this possible, the non-profit needs the community’s help. Aside from donations, Metropolitan Ministries is in need of volunteers. Those who are interested can now register to be a volunteer either as an individual or as a group through their website.
Aside from volunteers, Metro is in need of donations too. The demand for non-perishable items is a concern right now amid the pandemic, so the nonprofit is asking for the community to donate canned goods. However, other items like canned yams, cranberry sauce, Stuffing, boxed potatoes, Frozen turkeys, Soup, gift cards, and Christmas gifts for teens are also in high demand.
This year, Metropolitain Ministries will also be accepting donations shipped to their main Holiday Tent location in Tampa through Amazon and other retailers.
For Holiday Tent donation drop-off locations, click here.
To register for assistance, click here.
To register to volunteer, click here.