Cape Fear Area nonprofits see a decrease in holiday donations

CAPE FEAR AREA, NC (WWAY) — The holiday season is a time many are moved to give to others in need, but some local nonprofits and charities are reporting a decrease in donations.

The Salvation Army of the Cape Fear and Toys for Tots are both still in need of donations to help make the holidays “merry and bright” for local children and families.

The Salvation Army of the Cape Fear says its largest fundraiser, the Red Kettle Campaign, is doing well. Although the nonprofit has seen an increase in children being adopted for the Angel Tree Program, they’re concerned about a significant drop in the number of mail appeal donations coming in.

“We’re running about 50,000 dollars behind what we were last year, and so we’ll make some of that up to the kettles, but we hope that the mail appeal improves,” said Major Ken Morris, the Salvation Army of the Cape Fear.

Another area nonprofit, the Toys for Tots campaign that serves Brunswick County and Columbus County, says this year it plans to serve eight-percent more children than last year, which comes to a total of nearly eight-thousand kids. They say there are less toy donations coming in this time of year, compared to previous years.

“We started collection early this year in July, and at this point we’re about 23% of where we normally are at this time of year,” said Robin Sadler, Toys for Tots Brunswick County and Columbus County coordinator.

Toys for Tots recently received a $3,500 donation from an area Walmart, which  will help them buy toys to make up for the lack of donations, but the nonprofit is still feeling the impact of less donations.

“The prices have went up at least a third on most all of the toys, and gifts that we would normally buy. There’s a major increase in price, and a lot of the things aren’t even available and the ones that are have definitely increased in price,” said Sadler.

The Salvation Army also plans to use funds donated to pick up toy donation slack for the holidays, but mail appeal donations were down 4 months leading up to the holidays.

“It began to pick up a little bit, but now we’re a little bit concerned. Our thrift stores are doing well. We’re relying very heavily on our five thrift stores. The income that they make can also go in for direct financial assistance, but we need our mail appeal and we need these kettles, because all the funds are needed, but this is the time of the year where it’s going to be the determining factor and if we don’t do a successful Christmas, we may not be able to expand as much as we anticipated,” said Morris.

Both Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army are still accepting donations at this time. Both are hoping to reach their goals to serve thousands of children across the cape fear this holiday season.

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