THE COFFERS of charities and non-profit organisations around the Tamworth region have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Local charities told the Leader cancelled fundraisers have led to a loss in income, and some people are also less willing to donate due to personal circumstances.
Tamworth Legacy reported an estimated 75 per cent drop off in donations compared to this time last year, while places like Vinnies have struggled with a lack of volunteers. Meals on Wheels reported a large increase in demand for their services during the pandemic.
Tamworth's Peel Street Vinnies reopened their doors last week and have seen twice the number of customers than they would normally expect, according to St Vincent de Paul Society regional director for North West Phil Donnan.
Mr Donnan said financial donations have dropped off significantly since COVID-19 struck, but clothing donations are coming in hot. But, they could still use more.
"The community support has been wonderful, but the focus has been on winter stock so we are still calling for anyone who cleaned out their cupboards, we are happily accepting donations," he said.
Tamworth Legacy president Greg Roese said social isolation for members is a challenge to be taken seriously at the best of times, and coronavirus has made it worse.
"It's been a very difficult year and we've had to try and maintain more regular contact with our ladies by telephone," he said.
He said he expects donations could be down for the next couple of years as the full financial impact of the pandemic is felt.
Mr Roese is hoping Legacy will be able to run Christmas events and their main fundraiser Badge Week in September, with a few changes.
Meals on Wheels manager Peter Gallagher was "pleasantly surprised" with the community spirit of locals who signed up to volunteer during their time of need.
He said the organisation had seen a 20 per cent increase in people seeking approval for the meal service during isolation.