News / USA

    US Charity Donations Rebound

    Yet some philanthropic groups are still feeling the pinch

    Despite the economic downturn, donations grew 26 percent at the Arlington Food Assistance Center as compared to 2009.
    Despite the economic downturn, donations grew 26 percent at the Arlington Food Assistance Center as compared to 2009.

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Chris Simkins

    Despite a sluggish economy, charitable giving by American people and companies rose more than 6.5 percent last year from 2009.

    A study, by the research group Atlas of Giving, suggests the growth in giving was fueled primarily by a robust stock-market performance and greater awareness of people facing tough times because of the economy.

    Increased donations

    Each week an Arlington, Virginia food bank delivers donated goods to a senior citizens residential building.  Without the the items such as canned food, dairy products and frozen meats, many on fixed incomes would be forced to go without or sacrifice other things.

    "Well a lot of people have to pay for medicine and different small items, but with this here that helps them be able to keep a little more as far as carrying them through the month," says Mary Lanier, as she fills a bag with donated food.

    Without donations from individuals and corporations the Arlington Food Assistance Center would be unable to get food into the hands of about 3,000 people who need it. Despite the economic downturn, donations here grew 26 percent over 2009 and more than a million dollars was raised last year.

    "Arlington County residents have traditionally been very generous with AFAC and I think they are coming out of this recession earlier than most, and are willing to give back to their fellow neighbor," says Charles Meng, executive director of the Arlington Food Assistance Center.

    Donors like Alois Michalak are among those giving back to their fellow neighbor. "Over the past four years, my wife and I have donated more and more each and every year so I do expect that to continue to happen."

    Feeling the pinch

    However, some charities in the Washington D.C. area are still feeling the squeeze.  

    While nationwide donations to the Salvation Army rose two percent to $142 million last year, its largest fundraising drive in the Washington area, the Red Kettle campaign, fell 25 percent below its goal during the Christmas giving season.  

    "With the amount of people out of work and losing their homes to foreclosures our donors have begun to get hit by that," says Steve Morris, head of The Salvation Army's Washington-area operations. "So we not only saw a decrease in the amount of gifts, but a decrease in the gifts themselves."

    During the past several years the organization has also seen a decline in donations from corporations and local businesses. As a result, Morris says The Salvation Army is re-evaluating its resources to avoid possible cuts to programs in Washington and about 3,000 other U.S. communities.

    "We are going to have to tighten our belts some in the coming months, frankly," says Morris. "Our commitment is not to diminish services. In fact in this economy we need to be increasing the amount of services we can provide so that is the challenge that we find locally, and I think nationally as well."

    The Salvation Army's thrift store saw fewer donations last year, leaving more room on the sales floor and in the warehouse than usual.
    The Salvation Army's thrift store saw fewer donations last year, leaving more room on the sales floor and in the warehouse than usual.

    Empty shelves

    The Salvation Army's thrift store is another place that saw fewer donations last year. The store sells donated items to raise money for charity work, but there are now less items for shoppers.

    "The easiest way to tell that our donations are down is by our (sales) floor," says store manager Lonnie Hamilton. "You can look around and see we have a lot of space on the floor."

    In the store's warehouse, areas that were once filled with furniture and clothes are now empty. Salvation Army officials say during hard times people tend  to hang on to old items longer.  

    In order for things to improve the store needs more donors like Dawson Williams, who arrives to drop off some items.  

    "We have a bad recession and there are plenty of people that need items, and we are fortunate that the childrens' clothes we have are lightly used, and hopefully there is another family that has young children that can put them to good use," says Williams.

    Some charitable organizations say they are optimistic donations will pick back up this year. Officials say if not they will make do, and maybe scale back programs that help people in need.

    You May Like

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    City could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters

    Turkey Aims New Crackdown at Journalists, Academics, Airline Workers

    Ankara continues targeting people allegedly linked to exiled cleric, who it says led the failed military coup

    Pakistan Ready to Inaugurate Rebuilt Afghan Border Crossing

    Construction of Torkham Gate triggered deadly clashes between Pakistani and Afghan military forces

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora