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Charities hope for community support over holidays | News

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Charities hope for community support over holidays
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With the holiday shopping season in full swing, non-profit organizations are hoping they can find a spot on your shopping list. With rising needs and a tough economy, charities often find themselves on the bottom of that list.

For most non-profits, like the Salvation Army, November and December are not just holiday months they are also the biggest fundraising months.

For many charity sounds like a bell ringing; that bell ring turns spare change into turkeys, toys and often times a warm place to sleep.

video "Over a hundred households a day coming to our food bank and it's amazing the need is just increasing," Captain Kyle Smith with the Salvation Army said.

People seem to associate Christmas with giving and the Salvation Army hopes that continues..

"Right now my financial contributions overall for this year are down about 30-percent I think," Smith said.

But need has been increasing all year round.

"It's been more than a little uptick; it's been a pretty substantial raise in the need of what people are wanting and hoping for," Rob McCann with Catholic Charities said.

Catholic Charities runs more than 10 different outreach programs for Spokane's poorest population.

"This is our Super Bowl month at Catholic Charities because we try and raise all the money we're going to need for all of next year in just this one month in December," McCann explained.

If they can't raise that money programs will be cut.

"We hope for people's time and their talent and their treasure, if they can afford to write us a check we put it toward great use to serving the poor," McCann said.

Another way to measure need is by the number of hungry families..

"Right now our food banks are reporting about a 25 percent increase in client counts from the first of the year," Rod Wieber with 2nd Harvest Food Bank said.

2nd Harvest is trying their best to keep pantries stocked...

"It is difficult to keep up with it. The good news is that donors in our state, especially agricultural donors, have had a good harvest this year," Wieber said.

Unfortunately transportation costs to collect food pushes an extra $100,000, meaning every dollar, quarter and hour given counts.

"We're part of the community. I like to think we are the hands that are trying to help those that are hurting," Smith said.

Many charities will tell you the need doesn't stop at Christmas; it continues into the new year.

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