ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — “Giving Tuesday” is a day meant to celebrate generosity, but with high inflation, local charitable organizations say they are feeling a pinch this year.
The Rockford Rescue Mission says only $2.05 can feed a hungry person, and someone can stay at a homeless shelter for $12.40 a night.
But while their need is growing, the Mission says gift donations are slowing.
“During the summer we were serving about 345 meals a day, now we’re over 500,” said the Mission’s marketing and communications director, Abby Finley.
The Mission offers a homeless shelter, recovery programs, and therapy to help those working through destructive behaviors, Finley said.
“We have a medical clinic on site, a work center — which is educational and vocational training— and then, as well, a food service program where people can eat free meals every day, 365 days a year.”
In order to continue to provide those programs, Finley says the Mission needs donors for financial assistance.
“Giving Tuesday is important, specifically for the Mission, because we do not receive any government funding,” she said. “We are fully supported [by] individuals, businesses, families, churches, [and] grants given to us throughout the community.”
According to Finley, 80 cents of every dollar donated to the Mission goes to funding the programs, but they’ve seen a decline in donations over the past several months.
“Right now, from October 1st to today, we’re seeing about a $100,000 shortfall of budget, just because giving has dipped,” she said. “When that money slows, it can get a little bit worrisome, just because we are providing much-needed services to our community.”
Finley admitted that being low on funds is a stressful time since she does not see an end in sight for need.
“It’s our community that keeps us going. The Mission has been around for 58 years, and that’s because of the generosity of our community,” she said.
The Mission hopes to raise a total of $39,000 on Giving Tuesday. Donations can be made via the Rockford Rescue Mission website.