Local nonprofits notice less holiday donations compared to last year

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. — Christmas time seems to be the time of year where many nonprofits ask for donations the most.

However, this year there are a few that are saying some donations are actually down compared to last year.

David Dillard, who’s been a bell ringer for the Salvation Army for the past two years, said he noticed around this time last year he had more change in his donation box.

“To me, it seems like at my spots… this year it seems like I’m not getting as much as last year,” Dillard said.

But Dillard isn’t the only one noticing this trend.

Becky Rossman, president and CEO of Neighborhood House, said donations for their toy shop are not where they once were.

“It’s our 84th annual toy shop and this has been our slowest year to date,” Rossman said. “A lot of our toy boxes are coming back empty.”

Rossman said they have about 60 businesses that collect toys throughout November. While all of the boxes are generally full this time of year, she said about 25 percent are empty at this point.

She also said Neighborhood House has the capacity to serve more kids in this year’s toy shop.

Robert Montgomery, president and CEO of Peoria’s Friendship House of Christian Service, also saw a decline in the agency’s Stuff a Bus food campaign.

“Last year we collected almost 11 tons of food,” Montgomery said. “This year we collected almost 8 tons of food. If you do the math that’s about 3 tons of food.”

Both Montgomery and Rossman attribute the decline in donations to the economy.

“I can only assume that as cost increase naturally and wages stay the same people aren’t able to give as much as last year,” Montgomery said.

Although Dillard said he agreed economical reasons may have stifled more people this year, he still encourages those who can to donate as charities and low-income family may depend on them during the holidays.

“Most of the donations that most charities collect around Christmas are to help them throughout the whole year,” Dillard said. “So if people could help out that’s great. More is needed.”

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