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Donations Down at Union Gospel Mission: Shoppers aren’t the only ones waiting until the last minute; donors are too.

Vancouver, BC – While recent reports indicate that British Columbians are waiting until the last minute to do their Christmas shopping this year (see Maritz Research Study below), low December donation levels at Union Gospel Mission show they are also waiting to give to charities.
“While November donations were solid, December giving is down by 11.8% from last year,” says UGM President Bill Mollard. “The repercussions of the recession are still a real factor for us and with need for our services growing, a drop in donations is going to really hurt us this year. UGM receives 33% of our total donations in December, so if this trend continues, we’re going to have to make some painful decisions about what support services to cut.” 
Mollard hopes that the slow start to December giving is a trend that will be reversed as people realize that the new year is approaching. “With the sunny November, Christmas snuck up on many of us this year,” says Mollard. “We know that our donors are incredibly faithful, so we’re calling on them to remember their most needy neighbours at this time of year.” 
Low Donations Mean Heartbreaking Decisions
Tragically, it will be those already suffering that will invariably bear the brunt if donations don’t come in.  Says Mollard, “For decades, we’ve focused on providing emergency shelter and food services, so that won’t change. But in the last few years we’ve seen the difference that preventative services can make as well, particularly for children and families. How do you look at your budget and choose between cutting shelter for the homeless man on the street, or cutting nutritious meals and afterschool programs for children living in poverty in the Downtown Eastside? These are heartbreaking decisions, so hopefully our generous donors will step up so we don’t have to make them.”
There are two weeks left until the end of the new year, and Mollard hopes that donors are just coming to the table a little later than usual this year. “We’re putting a call out to all our faithful supporters. We know that the people of Metro Vancouver are generous, and that this has been a hard financial year for everyone, but even a small gift can go a long way.” 
Donations can be made online through ugm.ca, by phone at 604.891.5682, or by mail at UGM, 616 East Cordova Street, Vancouver, BC, V6A 1L9.
By the Numbers

  • UGM has received 11.8% fewer total dollars for December so far in comparison with last year’s December donations.
  • UGM has received 37% fewer donations (by number of donations, not by dollars) for December so far in comparison with last year’s December donations
Sources:
Maritz Research Canada Study: “Canadian delay holiday shopping anticipating further bargains…” from http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2009/09/c9460.html
Union Gospel Mission has been feeding hope and changing the lives of men, women, and children for over 70 years. Through its 10 locations in Metro Vancouver and the city of Mission, UGM provides counseling, education, safe housing, and alcohol and drug recovery to those struggling with poverty, homelessness, and addiction. The heart of the mission is to demonstrate God’s transforming love, ease the burden of the most vulnerable, rebuild the lives of the broken, and offer dignity to those who feel cast aside. UGM is a proud member of the Canadian Council of Christian Charities and the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions. To find out more, visit www.ugm.ca.
18/12/2009
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