Charities Hope Utahns' Generosity Still There for Holidays

Charities Hope Utahns' Generosity Still There for Holidays

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Natural disasters that struck the Gulf Coast and Northeast this fall and the subsequent relief efforts prompted generous donations much earlier than the nonprofit organizations usually see.

Now that the holidays are approaching, charity officials hope Utah residents still have something to give.

"Utahns especially are so generous, and we know that they are giving so much to Hurricane Katrina victims," said Marti Money, marketing and communications director for United Way of Salt Lake. "They've done that and we encourage them to not forget that we also have local needs."

Charities were also worried four years ago following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but donations didn't slump that year. But with hurricanes Katrina and Rita striking one after the other and last week's flooding in the Northeast, the timing may be hard on nonprofit organizations.

"We don't know whether that will hold true this year or not because there's been such a consecutive series of disasters," said Gina Cornia of Utahns Against Hunger. "We don't know if people are going to feel tapped out or not."

Local nonprofits who rely on holiday season donations hope the many people who donated to disaster relief will also continue with their normal holiday giving.

"If somebody has to stretch to donate to us, we might lose them this year," Cornia said. "But for folks with more flexible incomes, they might reduce their donation to us or they just dug deeper to donate to the folks in the Gulf Coast."

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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