‘Tis the season of giving, but how much are people giving this year?
Charities KHON2 spoke to say people are donating money and gifts, but they need volunteers to donate more time.
At the Salvation Army, volunteers spent the day helping people who stood in line “to make sure every boy and girl and senior gets a Christmas present this year,” said Maj. John Chamness with The Salvation Army.
Garbage bags were filled with gifts for hundreds of local families. While gifts rolled in, another effort to collect money is not doing as well. Red kettle donations are down seven percent this season.
“We’ve struggled to get enough volunteers out to ring the kettle. The economy’s doing better, but it’s harder to get people to come out and volunteer at the kettle sites,” Chamness said.
Officials said they couldn’t find enough volunteers to help at all the red kettle locations they usually have.
The local chapter of the American Red Cross is also looking for volunteers, since there was a great need this year.
“We had 15 major storms come through and even though not any of them were a direct hit, we still had to call down hundreds of Red Cross volunteers to be ready to respond,” said Coralie Chun Matayoshi with the American Red Cross Hawaii State Chapter.
There are 3,300 volunteers in the Hawaii chapter who help with disasters and preparations.
“We’re especially looking for nurses and disaster, mental health workers. They have to be licensed mental health workers,” said CEO Coralie Chun Matayoshi.
At Aloha United Way, there are stacks of new books that will be donated to people of all ages. Fortunately, contributions here have jumped between 20 and 40 percent.
“I think there’s a heightened awareness and visibility, particularly around the homeless problem and I think youth at-risk,” said Cindy Adams with Aloha United Way.
Collections are also up at the Hawaii Foodbank. Right now it has about three weeks worth of food on the shelves.
These organizations say they’re always accepting donations and help.Related Links: