Local charities seeing a drop in donations

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Updated: 11/21/2012 9:48 pm Published: 11/21/2012 3:16 pm

Local charities are struggling to provide for those in need this year.

John 3:16 Mission has seen an increase of 100 more families a month for the past six months. The organization has met those needs but paid staff members are worried about Christmas.

Donations are the only thing that keeps the shelves inside John 3:16 stacked. However, the shelves are not as full as they've been in the past.

"Times are hard. People just don't have the money anymore," said Patrick Herdener.

This is the first time he is getting a turkey from John 3:16. He's a seasonal worker who usually has work lined up after a job ends, but not this year. His family nearly missed out on Thanksgiving.

"It would've been hurtful," he said.

John 3:16 Mission Reverend Steve Whitaker says he is seeing more new faces this year than he has in the past.

"They're all new families,” he said. “They're new poor. That's been a concern for us for sometime."

Whitaker says the organization has more people to help but is working with fewer donations. John 3:16 is down nearly $200,000 in donations.

"The numbers are disturbing,” the reverend told FOX23. “We're a little concerned that it's going to be a problem for us past Thanksgiving."

Local charities worry that attention in November has shifted to donations for super storm Sandy and political campaigns.

Whitaker adds with Hostess shutting down and American Airlines lay-offs some people who used to donate found themselves becoming clients.

"They're working people who are just struggling,” Whitaker said. “Families that are just newly unemployed."

"There's people who go without food they help a lot with that,” said Rebecca Sharp, Patrick’s girlfriend. “They help put clothes on people's back. They are there for spiritual support as well."

Donations aren’t down all over Tulsa. The Tulsa Area United Way set a record this year raising more than $25-million. It is the most the organization has ever raised in its 88 year history.

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