By MEGAN HUSSEY
As Hernando County joins the world in facing a severe health crisis, the global pandemic known as Coronavirus, many residents are stocking up on those basic, essential items that will help them and their families maintain good health. Basic items like bathroom tissue, hand wipes and sanitizers, are increasingly tough to find, and homeless and disadvantaged people in particular are turning to area charities and social aid agencies for critical help.
Now, many of these agencies are turning to the public for critically needed donations--those 'basics' that can make a difference. And while many sites have stocks of canned food available, their stocks of personal hygiene and cleaning items are either low or depleted at this time.
Here's how and where you can help:
Jericho Road Ministries is a faith-based, non-profit organization that--through shelters, food assistance and recovery programs--provides help to individuals and families in need of shelter and recovery. Now, due to increased demand, Jericho Road needs help from the community to fulfill this mission.
"Right now we are low on supplies," said Andrew Chamberlin, executive director of Jericho Road Ministries. "We are reaching out to the community to share we need these types of items to help those in need."
Jericho Road is in particular need of donations of bathroom tissue and canned food. All donations can be delivered at 1163 Howell Ave., Brooksville. Visit https://www.jericho-road.net/contact for more information.
The Salvation Army Brooksville/Hernando County is preparing for an influx of help requests in the coming weeks.
"We're expecting an increase in the number of people who need help--people who may be without paychecks and benefits," said Lieutenant Mike Chamberlain, who along with Lieutenant Julie Chamberlain oversees The Salvation Army Brooksville/Hernando County. "We are available to help."
The Salvation Army is keeping its food pantry open, and is in need of canned food donations. Particularly needed are donations of bathroom tissue, hand sanitizer, hand soap, and packets of tissue.
"Volunteers and monetary donations are also appreciated," said Chamberlain.
For more information, contact Lt. Chamberlain at (352) 796-1186 or [email protected] Also visit and donate to the Salvation Army at https://salvationarmyflorida.org/hernando/.
On the campuses of Pasco-Hernando State College, the Social and Human Services Club is "a service organization (that) conducts assistance projects for needy students and other community assistance projects." At this time, the club can accept donations of toiletries and canned food at the Spring Hill campus. Donors can call human services program director Dr. Eddie Williams at 352-251-8899 and to arrange a collection time on campus at 450 Beverly Ct, Spring Hill.
"The supplies will go to students in need from our Bobcat Pantry," said Williams.
The Food Pantry at St. Vincent de Paul of Hernando County remains open and operational; along with canned food donations, donations of paper towels, tissue and personal hygiene items are needed at the agency--based at 1291 Kass Circle in Spring Hill; call (352) 688-3331 for more information.
The Dawn Center for Domestic and Sexual Violence in Hernando County is working to maintain a safe and healthful environment at its client shelter, maintaining high standards of cleanliness and maintenance.
"In this place of communal living," said Jessica Coughlin, The Dawn Center's Community Engagement Coordinator, "We are taking every safety precaution."
Bathroom tissues, hand sanitizers, and hand wipes rank among requested donations; to arrange a donation pickup, call the agency's Donations and Volunteering line at 352-639-0892 or e-mail [email protected]
"At this time," said Coughlin. "We all need to look out for each other."