Service organizations need help keeping shelves stocked during pandemic

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Mothers in Need of Others Ministry was started 17 years ago, but the organization has never seen as great of need as it is seeing today. 

Maria Wehrle, the ministry’s program director, started the nonprofit organization back in 2004. The ministry is part of Project URGE, Inc.

“I met a woman that was pregnant with triplets and I just couldn’t get her out of my head. I have six of my own and I just wanted to do something to help her,” Wehrle said. 

17 years later, the ministry is working with 122 agencies and churches to help support families in crisis. 

The nonprofit helps provide families with things like baby items, cleaning products, feminine products, paper products, etc. The items are free of charge.

Wehrle says her ministry has helped a lot of families, especially mothers. 

“When you are in crisis, you can’t think about tomorrow. You’re just trying to get through today. We’re the first realm on the ladder of poverty, that’s what we consider ourselves, so we are trying to provide them with things to take some of the stress off so that they can actually calm down, think about tomorrow and make a plan,” Wehrle said. 

The ministry usually sees 12-15 case managers, three times a week. Each case manager supports 1 to 4 families. Wehrle said the needs has definitely gone up during the pandemic. 

“People are really scrambling now to find things. Many of the agencies are reporting increases in the numbers of families that are looking for help,” Wehrle said. 

Items are flying off the shelves and Wehrle said part of it may be because the pandemic’s stimulus checks have stopped. 

“Many people are still out of of work and they are all trying to find their new normal,” Wehrle said. “You hear that term an awful lot, but I think it’s very, very true. We just went through a world-wide event here and the impact we are still feeling and people are just trying to get back to work, they are trying to regain their lives, with whatever life is like now.”

Support for the ministry comes from grants, private donors, churches or social groups. Community members can also help provide items to families in need by visiting the ministry’s amazon wish-list or contacting the group at mothersinneedofothers@gmail.com.

Because the ministry has had to increase their number of supplies, they also need a larger space to hold all the items. They are looking for a a space that is 1500-square-feet and on the first floor. 

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