Need is up but donations are down for this year's Times Colonist Christmas Fund.
Despite generous readers and a number of fundraising events held on behalf of the annual fund, money collected is down about 25 per cent in comparison to the same point in the 2012 Christmas Fund campaign. Last year's campaign raised a record $284,553.13.
Money donated to the fund goes to help people in need, with food vouchers and certificates for children's gifts. The fund has been running since 1956.
Times Colonist promotions director Shannon Kowalko said public support continues to be inspiring, although the state of the economy could be curtailing how much some people are able to give.
"The reality is that our readers continue to be amazing. They call in, they mail in their donations, they make their donations online."
Kowalko said it is important for the Times Colonist to work with the other agencies that come under the umbrella of the newly formed Christmas Giving Program so that as many people as possible can be helped. Those agencies are CFAX Santas Anonymous, the Salvation Army, the Mustard Seed, St. Vincent de Paul and the Sidney Lions Food Bank.
The deadline for applications for assistance through the Christmas Giving Program was Monday. To meet those requests, it is vital that donations continue to come in, Kowalko said.
She said the Times Colonist Christmas Fund has received 2,400 applications, but since many represent families those applications cover more than 4,500 people.
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