Fresno mayor-elect Jerry Dyer creates donation site for local nonprofits

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As local nonprofits bear the brunt of COVID-19 impacts, Fresno's mayor-elect has created a fundraiser, calling for the community to 'give help now.'

Each dollar raised will have twice the impact over the next month.

It's an unprecedented time for Valley nonprofits.

Fresno County organizations are seeing needs outpacing their supplies.

"It's been humbling and troubling because it hit so fast," said Andy Souza of the Central California Food Bank.

Added Matthew Dildine of the Fresno Rescue Mission: "Before we ever heard of this current crisis, we were already serving more meals than we ever had before."

Zach Darrah of the Poverello House said, "We're seeing a 300% or more increase in requests for emergency food bags. We've increased beds on our campus to more than we've ever had before."

Surrounded by nearly emptied food bank shelves, Fresno mayor-elect Jerry Dyer recognized there's no time to wait for federal and state dollars.

"It breaks my heart to know that these non-profit organizations that give everything that they give are hurting financially," he said.

'Give help now' is his message, and through his website, you can support those helping the Valley's most vulnerable.

"The sudden impact is that we've seen 30% new families. Folks that three weeks ago, months ago never dreamed they would be at the food bank and all of a sudden, they're standing in our lines," said Souza.
Thanks to businesses that wish to remain anonymous, every dollar raised will be matched up to $500,000.

"This is a tremendous blessing, what this allows is we can say, yes our doors are open, yes we're here to help you and we have the resources to ensure we can do it," said Marjoree Mason Center Executive Director Nicole Linder.

While most think of food shortages during the pandemic, Linder said they've seen a 30% increase in calls to service but their only fundraiser of the year was canceled because of event restrictions surrounding COVID-19.

"I know the heart of the people in this community, they're going to be generous," said Dyer.

The goal is to raise $1 million in 30 days. The funds will be rolled out as organizations need them. Everything will be disbursed by May 7.

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