Charities hope for cheerful givers this season - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Charities hope for cheerful givers this season

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The holiday season is a little over a month away which means local charities are gearing up for their busiest time of the year.

Many plan their biggest fundraisers during the holidays and rely on your generosity to keep them up and running.

It's as if giving comes second nature when the holidays roll around.

"It seems to be the time of year when people are in the giving mood," says Jimmy Hill, Resource Development Director for the River Region United Way.

But that doesn't mean raising money has been easy lately.

"What we're noticing in this economy especially is where we may have gone to a company last year where there were 100 employees, this year there may only be 90. And people are just as generous as they've always been. But when there's less people, there's less dollars," adds Hill.

For some organizations their fall or holiday campaigns can make or break them.

"Whenever you see that red kettle and hear that bell, that's the Salvation Army raising funds for all the programs that we do year round. Not just Christmas, but the shelter, the feeding and the helping out with food," says Captain Mark Gilliam with the Montgomery Salvation Army.

He admits the kettle campaign is crucial for the organization's future.

"What we bring in at Christmas time is going to really determine how we can help people throughout the year," says Gilliam.

And even though a sluggish economy may have affected donations directors have no doubt they'll get what they need to help those who need it most.

"People in the river region are generous. They've always been generous," says Hill.

"The community's going to step up and be able to help us," says Gilliam.

United Way directors expect the election to also play a role in donation levels.

They say many times people hold on to donations until they see how the election's outcome affects the economy.

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