Nonprofits struggle during holiday season

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The season of giving is proving to be a tough one for one of the city’s biggest charities.

Operation Holiday is running into one of it’s worst food shortages ever.

“Never in the 18 years that I’ve been in and out of this program have I seen the overall food numbers down where they are this year,” said Operation Holiday Director Ashley Davis.

The organization usually helps about 15,000 families each Christmas with food, clothes toys and other items. But this year, the food stores are dramatically low.

More donations have come in since the organization made a plea on Thursday, with less than half of the canned goods they’d normally have in stock.

Distribution for the agency takes place next Thursday through Saturday, December 13-15.

“I’m concerned this year about just serving just the applicants that came in on time,” Davis said.

The Fundraising Effectiveness Project warned nonprofits earlier this year that donations were trending downward nationwide. It said donations as a whole were down by 2.4 percent for the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same time in 2017.

ThinkAdvisor released a report showing that the number of Americans donating to nonprofits has dived 11 percent from 2000-2014. It expects that trend to continue.

No definite reason has been given by experts, though some suspect positive economic headlines and the soaring popularity of Crowdfunding sites are playing a factor.

It’s making the mission of agencies like Operation Holiday harder, with just days before it’s giveaway was supposed to begin.

Donations will be accepted at the warehouse in the old Sears store at Town West Mall in Wichita until distribution begins.  

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