SAGINAW (WJRT) - (12/07/18) - The City Rescue Mission of Saginaw received a big donation of food just in time for the holidays.
The AT&T Michigan Pioneers, a volunteer group made up of current and retired employees, donated more than 3,100 pounds of food Friday morning.
The much-needed boost came at a time when the shelter is bursting at the seams.
Thursday night 170 people stayed at the mission.
"So normally coming into this time of the year we're at about 110, so we have been seeing a huge spike here recently. The need has never been greater," said Dan Streeter, CEO of the Rescue Ministries of Mid-Michigan.
To accommodate all the people who needed help the mission had to make some adjustments.
"We have to put some mattresses on the floor, we're not going to turn people away. Definitely it is a life and death situation when we are in this kind of cold weather," Streeter said.
Deciding who to help was easy for the AT&T Michigan Pioneers. Many of the volunteers work nearby in the downtown Saginaw office.
"We love helping our neighborhood. This is our neighborhood that we live in and work in and play in," said Heidi Liss, the vice president of the Northern Council AT&T Pioneers. "What better way to do this than to help them supply food for the people that need it."
They made sure to check with the cook before deciding what to donate.
"We find that they run out of stuff, and they need certain things this time of year, and they're able to pick out what they need," Liss said.
Streeter added that while the cold weather really highlights why they mission's work is important, the spike in people needing help actually started back in August when the elements weren't as brutal.
"Mid-Michigan is still hurting. Even though we see a lot of other things changing with the economy, still Mid-Michigan we have so many people that are vulnerable," Streeter said.
Along with the City Rescue Mission of Saginaw, the Rescue Ministries of Mid-Michigan also operates the Good Samaritan Rescue Mission in Bay City. Click on the 'Related Link' with this story to learn more about their work and how to donate.