New York charities hit hard by downturn

December 5, 2008 7:14:51 AM PST
Once a month Genvea Wilson comes to pick up groceries. A minimart is part of the Community Kitchen of Harlem, a source of emergency food for New Yorkers. Each day 125 families do the same thing, up from about 75 last year.

Wilson says nowadays there's another obvious difference.

"Fewer stuff coming in then it was a long time ago. You've just got to do with what you've got, that's all," she said.

This charity is like so many hurting in more ways than one as the nation wrestles with tough economic times.

Large donations are not pouring in here, but organizers point out giving even small monetary gifts packs a big punch Recently, the Robin Hood Foundation agreed to help when it comes to donations, a 2 to 1 match. When you do the math, it's eye-opening.

"We can take a dollar and turn it into 5 meals. So if someone donates 10 dollars, Robin Hood Foundations puts in 20. That's a 30 dollar donation and we can make 150 meal out of that," Jesse Taylor said.

Experts warn when it comes to charities, this year is going to make the previous tough times seems like a walk in the park.

At Gilda's Club, it's not just about dollars and cents. Each year more than 34-thousand New Yorkers are newly diagnosed with cancer and come here for vital workshops and support groups.

Volunteers are a key reason the organization is so successful, but the group is also shrinking.

"We're always looking for more volunteers because now what we're seeing is volunteers arenow thinking about loosing their jobs, having to take second jobs and they don't have as much time," Lily Safani said.

CHARITIES IN NEED ON THE NET:

Food Bank (New York City): http://www.foodbanknyc.org/

Citymeals on Wheels: www.citymeals.org/donate

United Way: www.unitedwaynyc.org

Big Brothers, Big Sisters: www.bigsnyc.org

Children's Aid Society: www.childrensaidsociety.org

God's Love We Deliver: www.godslovewedeliver.org

Gilda's Club: www.gildasclubnyc.org Toys for Tots: http://www.toysfortots.org

Operation Christmas Child: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/index/

Feeding America (to search for food banks in your area): http://feedingamerica.org

Salvation Army: http://www.salvationarmyusa.org

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