Charities still hurting for donations - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Charities still hurting for donations

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September 12, 2002

Albany--Charitable groups in Southwest Georgia are still feeling the affects of last September 11th. Many people choose to give their money to the September 11th recovery efforts last year, and local charities suffered. Now, charities like the Salvation Army and Girls Incorporated say donations are still low, and they are in debt.

After school's out for the day, many young girls in Albany come here, to Girl's Inc. Money to pay for for this after-school program, however, is hard to come by. Executive Director Lynn Isler says, "Your just hustling trying to get through the next month instead of trying to plan for maybe a year ahead, how you might do a smart plan we are just trying to survive these days."

These days it's hard to survive. Donations are down across the board. People are giving less, foundations can't give as much because the stock market is down, and money Girl's Inc. counts on from the United Way has been cut by 17,000 dollars. The Salvation Army is facing similar money problems. Major Jim Amburgey says, "Right after 9-11 was devastating, last Christmas we were off 70,000 dollars, and the income was down the first 2 to 3 months after the first of the year."

Here, people are pulling double duty, working multiple jobs to save money on payroll. Amburgey says, "With attrition people leaving the Salvation Army we are five people short so my wife and I do a lot of the work, in fact she's out back sorting bric-a-brac and I'm doing pickups this morning."

Major Amburgey says they are cutting corners anywhere they can, but if the donation drought continues, he wonders how they will survive. Amburgey says, "We just want to do some extra work to get bills paid because if we don't we are in serious trouble next year." A reality that many charitable groups are facing.

The Salvation Army is hoping to get permission to ring bells this holiday season at Wal-Mart's in Moultrie, Camilla and Tifton. Major Amburgey says the money made there might make up for last year.

Posted at 4:03 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com