CHEYENNE – The coronavirus’ spread to Wyoming has changed the needs of nonprofits across Laramie County as they try to mobilize and adjust their resources to help those who need it most.
In a survey by the Wyoming Nonprofit Network that more than 170 Wyoming nonprofits responded to, 51.5% said the coronavirus is currently causing significant disruptions for their organizations, and 66.7% said they anticipate it to cause significant disruptions.
If you’ve been reading the news and feel inclined to lend a hand, we’ve compiled a list of local nonprofits that are seeking additional resources to meet their increased demand for services.
While Executive Director Carla Thurin said Safehouse is not seeking volunteers at this time, they could use support from the community in the following ways:
Cleaning supplies: Thurin said when they attempted to stock up on supplies like hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes, the supplies were already gone. With 40 people in the shelter, they could use more than what they currently have.
Gift cards: Safehouse is seeking gift cards, especially gas cards or cards from Safeway or Walmart that supply both food and gas, for their residents. They’re trying to cut down on the number of rides provided to practice social distancing, so gas cards are especially useful.
To donate funds, head to www.safehouse.org/donate/.
If you want to drop off donations to Safehouse at 714 W. Fox Farm Road, you can make an appointment by calling 307-637-7233.
COMEA House homeless shelter
Given the circumstances, the COMEA House homeless shelter is now open 24/7, which creates a new set of needs for the nonprofit.
Executive Director Robin Bocanegra said she appreciates the community supporting COMEA in a time of need. While she said they’re not asking for additional volunteers for health reasons, they could use the following:
Financial donations: Being open 24/7 will increase COMEA’s utility bills, so any financial contributions would be beneficial.
Laundry supplies: Normally, those at the shelter go to a laundromat to wash their clothes, but now COMEA will offer in-house laundry service for residents.
Snack food: While COMEA looks pretty solid in terms of serving meals, they’re seeking more snacks to put out during the day. They’re seeking drink mixes, coffee creamer and snack food (even homemade goods!) for their residents.
To donate funds, head to www.comeashelter.org/get- involved/donate/.
To donate goods, ship to or drop off at 1504 Stinson Ave.
Meals on Wheels
Meg Kylander, executive director of Meals on Wheels of Cheyenne, said, “I’ve never seen support like this before.” While Meals on Wheels is set in terms of food, Kylander said they could use the following:
Household supplies: While their main focus is meals, a number of Meals of Wheels clients have been requesting items like toilet paper, hand sanitizer and bottled water. Meals on Wheels could use donations of those goods at this time.
Volunteers to call seniors from home “to help mitigate the social isolation.” Meals on Wheels delivery drivers don’t just drop off food. They check in on their clients and provide much needed social interaction. Kylander said they’re seeking volunteers to make calls to clients to see if they need anything and to provide that social connection that Meals on Wheels gives its clients.
To donate household items, ship to or drop off at 2015 S. Greeley Highway. Meals on Wheels is asking that you call before you drop off donations. Someone will meet you at your car to pick up the items, or you can leave them between the front doors to minimize social contact.
Family Promise of Cheyenne
For the time being, Family Promise is housing families in hotels because they can’t stay in churches due to health concerns. To help cover the costs, Family Promise is seeking financial donations.
To donate funds, head to www.familypromiseofcheyenne.org/donate180-club/.
A community collection has been set up by Richard Johnson and Corey Lynn Loghry to help distribute goods to residents and agencies that need them. Having coordinated with more than 20 local nonprofits and service organizations, Johnson said they’re seeking “everything you see people hoarding,” including:
Food and household supplies: The collection is accepting everything from canned goods to household supplies like toilet paper, hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies.
Volunteer delivery drivers: Johnson said they need people to help deliver the goods to both residents and service organizations that need them.
To donate food or household items, ship to or drop off at 700 E. 19th St.
To volunteer as a driver, contact Loghry at firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-421-8296.
According to Needs’ Maria Pino, Needs is not accepting new volunteers to try and limit the amount of traffic going through the organization, but they are always seeking monetary and food donations.
To donate funds, head to www.needsinc.org/index.php/donate/
To donate goods, ship to or drop off at 900 Central Ave. Needs’ donation hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Food Bank
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church food bank is seeking donations of nonperishable food items for their services, which are now functioning like a drive-thru to minimize social contact.
To donate food, drop off at 206 Van Lennen Ave. from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday, or drop off at their offices at 314 E. Sixth St.
Vitalant (formerly United Blood Services)
Vitalant, located at 112 E. Eighth Ave., is seeking healthy residents to donate blood for hospitals across Wyoming “to ensure patients have the lifesaving blood they need to survive,” Vitalant’s Lauren Tipton said in an email.
To set up an appointment to donate blood, go online to vitalant.org or call 307-638-3326.
Cheyenne Animal Shelter
The Cheyenne Animal Shelter is seeking donations and volunteers for fostering animals. They’re seeking:
Pet food: The shelter has a food assistance program to help those who can’t afford pet food, especially with the financial effects of the coronavirus. They’re seeking Purina One dog and cat food for the program.
Foster volunteers: In case the shelter needs to clear up space or close for a period of time, they are seeking volunteers to foster pets.
To donate funds, head to www.cheyenneanimalshelter. org/donations/.
If you want to foster an animal, email email@example.com.