CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - It’s the season of giving, but some Heartland charities aren’t seeing the holiday cheer reflected in their bank accounts.
“It’s a struggle right now," said Lieutenant Matt DeGonia with the Salvation Army Cape Girardeau.
“For us organizations, I’m not worried about us personally, but I’m worried about the people that we serve, and making sure that we can help them as best as possible.”
According to DeGonia, the organization’s down thousands of dollars at this point in their Tree of Lights Campaign compared to previous years. It’s his goal to raise $341,000.
“So everything that I do from keeping the lights on, to paying my employees, to doing all the programs that we do here, depends on the money that we raise at Christmas time,” he said.
The Salvation Army’s not alone. Elizabeth Shelton with United Way of Southeast Missouri said this decline in people donating is a trend across the region and country right now.
“But we all know that most of our donors are doing the best they can. And we always try to remind people that we’re here to help good people who are going through bad times, so we encourage people who are in a good place right now to remember that there are a lot of other people who want to be celebrating the holidays in the ways that many of us do and simply can’t,” said Shelton.
She said it’s hard to not be able to help people in the community.
“One in three people is affected and impacted by United Way, and so many times these are people that you would never dream are in need of help, and it could be your neighbor, it could be your child’s friend in school, you just never know,” said Shelton.
“That’s kind of scary thought that people we know that are in need, and we can’t help them because the money’s just not there," said DeGonia.
As always, DeGonia and Shelton want to remind you that you can also donate your time and volunteer at non-profits in the area.