Decreased Giving Impacts Charities, Services

By: Stephen Bowers Email
By: Stephen Bowers Email

Many charities say they're hopeful that the hurricane season will continue to be slow. That's because fundraising has been so difficult with the downturn in the economy.

Spokesmen say they're afraid they won't be able to provide all services needed if a major storm strikes.

A recent report from the Associated Press said The Salvation Army is in a financial struggle that may make long-term disaster assistance difficult until things get better.

The Salvation Army isn't the only charitable organization having problems. United Way seems to be doing better than most, but the organization still needs more donations.

"We need people to open up. Remember that everybody needs help sometimes," said campaign co-chair Jim Briggs. "It's not an isolated incident. Houses burn down, families crumble, storms come up and they don't respect any neighborhood."

United Way helps fund other organizations, and those organizations need your help, too.

Wesley House is one of them. Director Ginger Stevens said its financial donations are far below where they were last year.

"We are feeling the crunch in a tremendous way," said Stevens. "Spending is down, this time last year, $33,000. We were cut this year by United Way."

Care Lodge is seeing the same trouble. Executive director Leslie Payne says they need help, too.

"We have 25% of our costs that come out of what we call our reserve account," said Payne. "Our reserve account is from local donations, and we've certainly seen a decrease in those."

The thing to remember about all of these organizations is that the contributions you make stay here in Meridian.


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