Recession casts a shadow over charities’ fundraising

Kansas City StarNovember 3, 2008 

Needy families hoping to shop for free holiday gifts at the Cross-Lines charity store are out of luck this season. Registration filled up two weeks ago.

"It just breaks my heart because the line of people preregistering was out the door and down the block, and we had to turn so many families away," said Theresa Swartwood, the marketing director for the Kansas City, Kan., nonprofit organization, which provides emergency assistance, food and clothing.

"I wish we could do more, but because of the economy, donations are way, way down," she said. "We're really in a panic mode right now."

Over in Liberty, Fran Bussey is feeling fortunate. She is part of a giving circle in which each member gave $300 last summer. On Monday, the group will present a $30,000 check to a local charity for its transitional housing program.

"Luckily, we collected from each of our members before the October bust," Bussey said. "Frankly, we’re more concerned about next year. So far, the people in my giving circle are still employed, and that makes a huge difference."

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