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Amherst Shelter Sunday to raise funds for the needy

The annual Shelter Sunday effort will benefit the Amherst Survival Center; Craig’s Doors, which oversees the homeless shelter at the First Baptist Church; and the Not Bread Alone soup kitchen — all agencies that support those who need assistance with shelter, clothing and food.

Aaron Bousel, president of Amherst Friends for the Homeless, said the annual fundraiser his group organizes serves to address hunger and homelessness in the area.

“This event brings the community together with a shared goal of helping our neighbors to get basic needs met,” Bousel said.

Hannah Elliott, program supervisor at Not Bread Alone, based at the First Congregational Church, said the collaboration between the agencies is growing this year to better serve those in need.

“This is a very important event for Not Bread Alone, and one that we have gratefully benefited from for the past many years,” Elliott said.

Mindy Domb, executive director of the Amherst Survival Center, said Shelter Sunday is an important for both bringing in money and increasing awareness.

“The funds raised by the Amherst Friends for the Homeless’ Shelter Sunday canvass has raised critically needed funds for the Amherst Survival Center and helped us meet the basic needs of our neighbors for many years,” Domb said.

Other volunteers who will go door to door will include members of faith communities, representatives from the agencies and interested community members. Tables will be set up outside Atkins Farms County Market on West Street in South Amherst and Super Stop & Shop at Campus Shopping Plaza in Hadley.

Last year’s event raised $31,000, with nearly half the money brought in on the date and the rest received by mail or through online donations. People can send payments to Shelter Sunday Amherst, P.O. Box 1071, Amherst, MA 01004, or make donations through PayPal on the event’s website, sheltersunday.org.

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