Texoma Organization Seeing Record Number of Needy

This holiday season is leaving many non-profit organizations scrambling to provide for the needy. One agency is seeing a 30 percent increase in the number of clients coming in asking for assistance. Newschannel 6 Crystal Hall visited with organizers at Sonshine House in Wichita Falls and learned the organization saw 53 families come in asking for assistance on Tuesday. The Tuesday before Thanksgiving Sonshine House saw 153 families seeking assistance, a record for the organization that's been around for two decades.

Six months ago Christina Whatley was jobless.

"Really struggling to pay bills and keep a roof over my head," she said.

The next few months were difficult for her. In order to get food she needed she came to Sonshine House.

"If I wasn't able to get food here I would probably starve because towards the end of the month money is low and you got bills to pay."

"A lot of our children's clothes have been picked through and a lot of them are gone," points out Steve Young with Sonshine House.

The disarray happens every Tuesday as families come in to get food and clothing and while that hasn't changed since it opened 20 years ago the number of people coming in has.

"People who have worked the Sonshine House for many years they were thinking we remember when reaching 60 was unheard of now we're surpassing that by nearly 3 times," said Young.

Last month more than 500 families were helped, keeping volunteers like Kimberly Hurley busy the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

"We opened early that day as a matter of face because we had people lined up all the way down the sidewalk, down the corner," she said.

While the need is obvious in the community the organization is still able to keep supplies up even when a record number of people are walking in during the holidays, looking for the necessities in life.

"They're coming in while other people are out shopping, they're coming in to fulfill a need."

If you would like to help Sonshine House with clothing, blankets or food you can drop off donations at their location across from the iHop downtown or at any Church of Christ location.
Sonshine House is open on Tuesdays from 1:30 to 4 p.m.

Crystal Hall Newschannel 6