MASS Spotlight: Tiffanie McCowin, Program Director
A self-described “people helper,” Tiffanie McCowin is well-suited for her job as program director of The Salvation Army’s Material Assistance and Seasonal Services (MASS) program at the Burrows Center for Help and Hope. “It brings me pleasure to know we’re providing people with what they need,” she said. “We give people a hand up to help them get to the next level.”
The Burrows Center helps to alleviate food insecurity in the metro by filling approximately 8,000 grocery orders each year, ensuring that individuals and families are able to put nutritious food on their tables.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for food at Burrows skyrocketed 144%. From March through September alone, the Burrows Center filled nearly 4,000 grocery orders.
The public might think of the food pantry as the most visible part of the Burrows Center, but McCowin likes to emphasize the breadth and depth of the Center’s services. “We typically aren’t meeting one need,” she said. “We are meeting people’s needs holistically.”
For example, a client might stop by the Burrows Center for the food pantry, but might also end up receiving utility assistance, a referral to a job training program, or help developing their resume.
MASS also offers free fans during the summer to provide relief from the heat; distributes thousands of backpacks filled with school supplies to families with school-age children; and helps more than 3,000 families with toys, gifts, and food vouchers during the Christmas season.
McCowin, who has worked for The Salvation Army for nearly 20 years, considers both her colleagues at the Burrows Center and her clients to be family. “We’ve built relationships over time with the people and the businesses in this neighborhood,” she said. “I know people need us, and that’s what keeps me coming back to work every day.”
The Salvation Army’s MASS program provides assistance when times are tough by offering food, clothing, household items, help paying for prescription medications, utility assistance and seasonal services. Our goal is to help those who are struggling stay afloat until financial stability can be achieved. For more information about MASS, visit our Burrows Center for Help and Hope website.
Are you wondering, “What can I do?” to help people in need during this especially challenging Christmas season? One answer might be to help Tiffanie and her MASS staff #RescueChristmas this year for thousands of people in the metro. Consider making a donation to a virtual red kettle or sign up for the Adopt-a-Family program to sponsor a family in need this Christmas.