City Briefing: Shelter Sunday fundraiser still ongoing
BY BRIAN STEELE
THE DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE
MONDAY, OCTOBER 3RD 2022
NORTHAMPTON — This year’s Shelter Sunday fundraiser to benefit local homeless services organizations was not confined to a single day, so those who have not yet donated to the Oct. 2 drive still have a chance to participate.
Beneficiaries of the 31st annual effort include Grove Street Inn, the Interfaith Emergency Shelter and Manna Community Kitchen. Organizers including ServiceNet set a goal of raising $66,000 — 10% more than the 2021 total — to be evenly distributed between the three programs, supporting emergency shelters and free community meals.
“Caring for the homeless and hungry is not a solo venture. This vital work to support those struggling with homelessness could not be done without the collaboration of the Shelter Sunday Coalition and the community’s ongoing and generous support,” Jay Sacchetti, vice president of sheltering and housing at ServiceNet, said in a statement. “What is important about Shelter Sunday is not just that it is an annual event dedicated to raising funds to support essential programs, but it also seeks to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and create lasting and meaningful change.”
In the past, Shelter Sunday was a door-to-door canvassing effort that took place over the course of a single day, and collection areas were set up in public places. Originally, the goal was to inspire each family in the Northampton area to donate $1.
Now, residents of Northampton and Easthampton receive flyers in the mail. Donations can be made by mail or online at any time “up until the end of this year and beyond,” said Amy Diehl, a ServiceNet spokesperson. The website is NorthamptonShelterSunday.org.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Diehl said, the drive became all virtual and mail-in, and organizers “raised more than we had before.”