Charitable Giving Increases Despite Monetary Hardships

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COLUMBIA - Charitable giving has not taken a hit despite impacts of the recession. According to a national report, 2011 charitable giving increased $6 billion dollars from 2010.

Will that increase continue in 2012? 

The national campaign #GivingTuesday was a way to track that increase. Partner organization Heart of Missouri United Way pushed operation #GivingTuesday all over Columbia by using social media to spread the word.  Volunteer Coordinator Allison Coffelt said she saw more than she expected.

"We got a lot of good feedback today from the community. I wasn't really sure what would happen because it was our first year trying out this campaign but it definitely showed us people still want to give back," said Coffelt.

The United Way Executive Director said there is a shocking number of volunteers that all have one thing in common.

"College students," said Tim Rich. "75 percent of volunteers are college students, it really is amazing."

Although #GivingTuesday was a one-day campaign, Coffelt also says it is not the last way to get involved.

"We are launching a #VoltforHolt campaign which we hope keeps people in the spirit of volunteering for the holidays," said Coffelt.

Other service organizations such as Love In the Name of Christ or Love INC., and the Voluntary Action Center say that despite the difficulty to get monetary support, they have been able to match each family with a sponsor for the holidays.

To find out more about ways to get invovled visit, Heart of Missouri United Way, Voluntary Action Center or Columbia Love INC.