HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – As we’re inching closer to the season of giving, one home here in the Jewel City is asking for the community’s help.

“During wintertime, we could always use coats for kids, sweatshirts for adults that sort of thing to keep them warm while they’re here. We could also use cleaning supplies, especially with covid-19 going around right now. That is very important to us,” says the Ronald McDonald House Outreach Coordinator, Olivia Zarilla.

The Ronald McDonald House says, due to COVID-19, they’ve had to cancel Chili Fest, their biggest fundraiser of the year, for the second year in a row.

Because of this, they’ve lost around $100,000, and they say although the cancellation was in the best interest of the kids, it really pushed them back financially.

“We have to raise $600,000 a year just to keep the lights on. That’s not to giving toys to people, giving clothes to people. That’s just to keep operating. So you can imagine a $50,000 fundraiser, that hurt us.” 

Olivia Zarilla, Outreach Coordinator

This year, they’re asking for sanitary items, food and clothes, and any monetary donations.

The CEO of a small business here in Southside Huntington says they’ve already started collecting items to donate.

The West Virginia Ray of Hope is collecting new and used bags to fill with sanitation items to help out.  

“When moms come in, sometimes they have absolutely nothing. You know you don’t always plan for your child to be sick. And so, when you have to up and leave, you don’t really grab anything,” says CEO, Katie Brockman.

Brockman says they would appreciate any donations from the community. She just asks that the sanitary items be new and unused.

One Ronald McDonald family says they’re grateful for all of the help. 

“Our girls have been in the NICU for 36 days now, and the money that we would’ve had to put out that we don’t have; these people have stepped in and given us a place to stay. They’ve fed us, they’ve clothed us. So to the community out there, if you want to donate anything, donate to the Ronald McDonald House,” says Jennifer and William Ray.