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Dec 25, 2010 1:41 PM by Shawn Kline

Acadiana's donations

They call it the season of giving but in a tight economy, one of the first places cut in your budget is the donations line.
So, how are Acadiana's non-profits faring this holiday season?
Just ask Joseph B. He's just one of the Salvation Army's famous bell ringers.
"Anytime I have a chance to help somebody, it makes me feel good," Joseph says.
In just five weeks, Joseph and his bell helped raise nearly $300-thousand for the Salvation Army. That, more than doubling their donations from last year.
"This is a miracle." Captain August Pillsbury said. "I didn't expect to see something like this- our hearts just burst to see the community reaching out."
Every dollar put into the can during the holiday season can add up to more than a quarter million dollars but the generosity doesn't stop when the season of giving ends.
"In this fundraising climate, a flat result is a very good result," Sarah Berthelot of the United Way said.
Nationwide, the United Way has seen a decline in donations. However, the United Way of Acadiana says they're close to their goal of raising $3.5-million.
With just weeks left to achieve their goal, they're still short by $500-thousand.
"If you haven't given to the campaign, there's still time," Berthelot says.
Time to help your community, with just a little spare change.
Berthelot says there's a number of non-profit organizations like the United Way and the Salvation Army that operate year-round. For them, there is no "season" for giving. It's more like a lifestyle.
"It keeps me humble," Joseph said. "It keeps me on my feet."
Non-profits say even when the wallet is tight, there are other ways to help; by donating old clothes, tools and books. The most valuable donation however, is time.

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