SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for support agencies such as United Way of Pioneer Valley.

The traditional ebb and flow of holiday season donations received by the United Way has been impacted by the pandemic. The United Way of Pioneer Valley has stepped up its mechanism for contacting people because of adverse conditions created by COVID-19 concerns.

“We’re trying to reach out to as many people as possible to stress the need,” Jennifer Kinsman, Director of United Way of Pioneer Valley, told 22News. “It’s difficult to meet people in person so that’s been a challenge. It’s been tough because there a fewer people downtown to reach out to in person.”

To compensate for that reduced personal contact, The United Way reaches out more digitally, through flyers, and by using the news media to carry their message to the public.