A slowdown in January donations combined with employees out sick with winter illnesses has left Sans Souci needing what it usually gives: community help.
Sans Souci, a nonprofit organization, operates a thrift store at 1526 13th St., where it sells low-cost, used clothing and household goods. The United Way agency also provides free and emergency assistance to others.
“That money helps us fund our programs and provide our services,” said Mike McIver, a Sans Souci board member.
Executive Director Sheryl Adams said January has been extra slow for donations after the flurry of activity in December, when residents donated items for tax purposes.
Shoppers, however, quickly snatched up such necessities as coats, boots, sweaters, hats and blankets, leaving clothing racks and shelves sparse.
As new donations are coming in this month at a slower pace, they also are going out on the floor less quickly.
Last week, volunteers worked at tables, pulling out children’s clothing from large plastic bags and placing them on hangers. A large stack of bags awaited the small pool of volunteers and workers tackling the daunting task.
“January would be an awesome time to donate and volunteer,” Adams said.
Sans Souci can work with individual volunteers or groups during the week, evenings and weekends. Work can include sorting donations, stocking the store, organizing, cleaning or other tasks.
McIver said spring and summer are peak seasons for donations, leaving a need to fill during the winter months.
“The pace of donations goes up and down, but there is a consistent need throughout the year,” McIver said.
Sans Souci particularly needs items specific to the season.
Although some storage space is available for warm-weather items, more helpful donations in January are cold-weather clothing and outerwear.
And since many Sans Souci shoppers and clients might be looking for a job, Adams added, they often need clothing appropriate for job interviews.
Board members also would like to get the word out they could use donations of new socks and underwear.
McIver said clothing is the most basic necessity needed, but many individuals and families also are looking for items to help set up a new household or in response to a change in family circumstances.
These items might include bed frames, dressers and tables. Families often have to be put on waiting lists to receive these items.
They also need kitchen necessities such as dishes, pots and pans.
Adams said donations are appreciated, but they ask items be in good condition and appliances in working order.
Pickups can be arranged, but items must be placed outside the home or in the garage because of liability issues.