Charities Feeling the Pinch this Year

Charities Feeling the Pinch this Year

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Richard Piatt reporting 2006 has been a good year for Utah's economy, but it's been a mixed bag for charities so far this Christmas season.

Every year there are thousands of families who have a better Christmas because of the generosity of others.

But even now, when Utah's economy is booming, there's a little concern that need will be greater than donations.

They're still decorating the United Way's Sub for Santa program. It's at Crossroads Mall this year. This is a one-stop-shopping center: Qualify and get the gifts in one place.

Charities Feeling the Pinch this Year

The toy center is stocked. But not enough to supply the 3,300 kids they're expecting.

Bryson Despain, United Way of Utah: "That will only get us through Friday. So the need is great and we need help from our community."

That's why donations from families like the Worthlins are so important.

Matt Worthlin, Donated Toys: "It's part of giving back to the community. There are a lot of people in need, and it's just part of being a human being, and it's nice to help people who aren't as blessed as we are."

Donations from the Salvation Army's red kettles helped 13-thousand children through the Angel Tree program last year. People are being as generous as ever. But, since more people are working these days, the number of bell ringers is down.

Major James Sullivan, Salvation Army: "Unemployment is at a low point, and we're having a hard time finding enough workers to staff all those workers and every night we have 20-25 locations that aren't staffed."

The bell ringer shortage could mean the Salvation Army will be thousands of dollars short. There may be fewer families in need. But based on the past, no one is counting on that.

Those bell-ringers raised $440,000 dollars statewide last year. Large donations from businesses help in all these efforts. But the help of individuals and families is still essential, too.

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