Hard economic times makes giving during the holidays a struggle

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - From food drives, red kettles, and toy runs. It seems impossible to count the opportunities to help others during the holidays. Problem is fewer people are actually giving.

"Compared to last year the amount of toys we received is below," said Brian Crews, Angelina County Toys for Tots representative.

"We've noticed that it's more difficult to get donations and have fundraiser this year than it has in the past," said Brian Cyr, Marketing President for Angelina and Houston County Commercial Banking

Volunteer organizations blame the hard times many no longer have the means to lend a hand. While toy donations are down the number of kids in need steadily climbs.

"I would suspect it's a lot to do with the economy, we've seen an increase in the number of families requesting assistance," said Crews.

The economy is forcing some families to struggle through the season without breaking the bank.

"People are having to tighten their belts and they're finding areas like that to tighten their belts than sacrifice their family," said Cyr.

The reach of the recession may be an excuse not to give. But according to volunteers like Suzanne Alexander, everyone can make room in their budget to do a little more.

"Maybe you say I don't need that and give to someone else. A lot of people think they can't do it because they've not researched it," said Alexander. "If you pick up your newspaper any day of the week there is a way to give back."

They say it's not about how much or how little you give just doing your part to make a difference.

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