Charity helps with money emergencies

October 27, 2008 8:36:33 AM PDT
During these incredibly tough times, more and more people are finding they can't even pay for basic necessities - like their heating bill, or sudden car repair job. If you're in that situation, a charity that's just arrived in the Bay Area may be able to help.

It's called Modest Needs and they've just opened a San Francisco location. They're here just in time; the number of people asking for help is skyrocketing. Nationwide - this non-profit usually receives about a thousand requests a month. In September - more than 3,000 people asked for money. The tough part for charities is asking for donations during these tough times. But this non-profit is a little different than all the rest and they're finding that people are giving -- even now.

It's easy to spot dire need, but what about the need you can't see? You wouldn't see it in Sarina Wilson if you passed her on the street.

"I'm outstanding on my rent and my landlord said if we don't pay it soon then we have to move out," said Sarina Wilson, Modest Needs user.

Wilson isn't homeless or starving, but she is living paycheck to paycheck. And when she lost her job she missed a month's rent. So she turned to Modest Needs, a non-profit that gives to those who usually don't qualify for other charities.

"Most people have been turned away so many times, from every agency, so that is why they are so frustrated when they get to us. They have been told no just because they make sometimes even as little as $100 dollars over the max you can make," said Huriya Jabbar, ModestNeeds.org

Modest Needs not only reaches out to those who find themselves in unexpected financial trouble they also add an interesting twist for the donor. Donors get a say in who gets their money. If you give to Modest Needs, you can then go on the website and read the requests from people like Wilson, and vote for who you think deserves the money.

"It's interactive easy, it's fun, they sometimes get thank you notes from people they've helped," said Jabbar.

Wilson's boyfriend has now found a job but they still owe on that month's rent they missed. And that's why they're a perfect match for Modest Needs, it's designed to help people with a one time money emergency, such as a medical bill or rent when you're in between jobs.

"It feels a little strange, usually I don't have to ask for help," said Wilson.

Modest Needs is asking for help from the Bay Area. The non-profit has just set up a new office in San Francisco. And even though you would think this would be the time that people cut back, the charity's COO says donations are up.

"I just saw a woman who used to give $100 for us and now she has just increased it to $500 a month. This is a time for the people who can afford it, to step up and help their fellow Americans," said Jabbar.

Wilson is hoping some of that generosity will come her way. She still doesn't have enough votes from the Modest Needs website to get that rent paid for. There are a lot of requests for help right now; so many- that Modest Needs is now in the process of hiring someone to help with the extra workload.


Load Comments