Non-profit thankful for a good 2011 - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Non-profit thankful for a good 2011

Food stash at River of Life Mission Food stash at River of Life Mission
Jean Mooney Jean Mooney
Merrie-Susan Marchant Merrie-Susan Marchant
Pearl Palimoo Pearl Palimoo
Edward Hill Edward Hill

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email 

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The food chain at River of Life mission doles out 15,000 meals a month to the homeless, mentally ill and drug addicts.

It also disperses 100 food boxes a week to low-income elderly, the handicapped and single parents.

"River of Life has changed many people's lives. And it's not just about a soup kitchen," Jean Mooney said.

She came out of drug addiction and a prison sentence. River of Life gave her a second chance.

The faith based non-profit has been on the receiving end too. It has gotten enough monetary gifts to keep pace with last year's donations.

"I think it's a God thing. I think it's because we pray. We don't rely on the government for funding and 75 percent of all our donations come from private individuals," said Merrie-Susan Marchant, the Mission's director of operations.

Some other non-profits are struggling to close the year on a high note.

Pearl Palimoo rings the bell at one of the busier sites in the Salvation Army's "Red Kettle" drive.

"I like to do it for the people that need help," she said.

But Christmas giving has been a tough go.

The organization is $50,000 shy of last year's total.

If donations don't pick up, the Salvation Army may have to trim services in 2011.

"The kinds of services that would be impacted are basic services that the Salvation Army provides - food, shelter, clothing, drug and alcohol addiction. Those kinds of programs would be most impacted by a loss of income," Maj. Edward Hill said.

River of Life gets donations of food and other goods. That also helped during the sluggish economy. But the steady flow of cash contributions have kept it going.

"We've got little old ladies, retired people on fixed income that'll put two or three or five dollars in an envelope every month and mail it to us," Marchant said.

For non-profits every little bit helps.

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