Now, and throughout the year, we need to help those less fortunate |

Now, and throughout the year, we need to help those less fortunate

Nonprofit organizations around the country are seeing a disturbing trend this year. Donors seem to be fewer and further between and those who regularly contribute are spreading themselves thin to cover multiple causes.

It is hard to say why charitable giving is down this year. The economy is relatively strong and many of the charities calling for help have proven track records of service.

Perhaps it is because there are so many more organizations trying to serve their communities. Over the last two to three years Park City and Summit County residents have stepped forward to help, not only local nonprofits, but national ones as well. When the people of Mississippi and New Orleans were devastated by Hurricane Katrina, Parkites loaded a semi truck with emergency supplies and also made sizable donations to the Red Cross. They reacted the same way in the aftermath of the tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

Students throughout Summit County are also known for their civic involvement and their generosity. At Ecker Hill and Treasure Mountain International School, volunteerism is a scholastic requirement and at the Park City High School service clubs abound.

It is not enough though. This year the Salvation Army is reporting that donations are down and Utah area food banks are seeing the same trend. And though they are reluctant to be specific, local nonprofits admit they are seeing what they call "donor fatigue" and they are scrambling to keep up with increasing costs of doing business.

It is therefore extremely important to add a few worthy nonprofit organizations to your Christmas list this year. If you have been unable to attend their official fundraisers, there is still time to stop by or log on to make a donation. This season, in both the newspaper and on its Web site The Park Record is highlighting a number of local organizations that do amazing work in the community. Among them are groups that offer health care to the uninsured, foster unwanted pets, present art programs to children, help support native elders on a reservation and conduct medical missions to Third World countries.

Please see The Spirit of Giving on page A9 or log on to for information about many of these organizations. It is a wonderful way to add to the spirit of the season.

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