Charitable donations down in the islands

Charitable donations down in the islands

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The River of Life Mission is a small nonprofit firm, but it was gearing up for a big event Tuesday.

"It's a gift giving, for those who are less fortunate," explained Operations Manager Shervelle Gardner.

Across the large room inside the building, tables were stacked with toys, clothes and other gifts for caretakers to pick out for their children.  It was an impressive sight for the passerby, but not for Gardner.

"We're about a third down from what we normally get every year," she noted.

At the Salvation Army there was a similar scene.  Volunteers were organizing and stacking toys, clothes and other gifts.

"Today we're getting ready to distribute the gifts that have come in across Honolulu that will go out to kids and senior citizens next week" said Major John Chamness.

Like the River of Life, the Salvation Army is also experiencing a donation shortage.

"We're currently down here in Hawaii about 24% what we'd normally raise in our Christmas Red Kettle, or about $170,000" Major Chamness said.

The reasons for the shortages are widespread, and in some instances, beyond the control of anyone.

Aloha United Way President and CEO Kim Gennaula said, "The one thing that's really had an impact on us in the last three weeks or so is the fundraising for the tragedy in the Philippines.  While we fully support all the effort and good that's being done there, it is having an impact on local donations".

Chamness added "The uncertainty of the economy with the one week less to shop…combine those different things and it has made people say 'gosh I'm not ready to give yet'".

While the time during the holidays is limited, Gardner says the need is not.

"For them it goes a long way, just some clothes, just something, anything rather than nothing".

If you would like to donate to any of these charitable foundations, just click on the links below:

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