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Hard times inspire people to give

Staff writer

People in Marion County didn’t let bad news about the economy ruin their Christmas spirit. In fact, some people took the recession as a challenge to give. Several charities in Marion County saw more people donate than in previous years.

Marion County Emergency Food Bank Director Janet Bryant said economic troubles have hit close to home for many people in 2009.

“People actually know other people who are having a hard time,” she said.

Bryant speculated that may have been what led more people to donate. The increased donations put the food bank in good position for January.

“It was wonderful,” she said. “We had so many people giving money and food donations that we’re OK for a while.”

Stephen Humber — treasurer for both Marion County Salvation Army Unit and Hillsboro Area Ministerial Association — said he had seen good participation in charitable activities throughout the county.

The ministerial association and Tabor College had a community Thanksgiving concert, and the offering was the largest he’d seen in his 10 years as treasurer, he said.

Humber said he thought more people were aware of financial hardships this year. In addition to donations, he said he saw more people giving emotional support to people in need.

Marion Community Christmas had more Secret Santas this year than usual, volunteer Margo Yates said. Several donors stepped forward in the last few days before Christmas, she said.

Last modified Dec. 30, 2009

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