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Shortened shopping season hits charities in holiday drive

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With a late Thanksgiving, non-profits as well as retailers are facing a shortened holiday season, which can have a huge impact on their bottom line as well.

"For most charities, over 50 percent of their giving happens in December," Sarah Caruso, CEO and President of Greater Twin Cities United Way, told KARE. She said charities worry that fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas will equal fewer dollars.

The Greater Twin Cities United Way this year has a "catalog" on their website to let donors see what their donation will do. Meanwhile, GivingTuesday is receiving social media traction. The charitable response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday will involve tousands of charities that will take part in another "Give to the Max"-style day.

"On average, people give to three to five charities during the holidays," said Caruso.

WCCO reported that the Salvation Amy announced a significant downturn in donations, despite the donation of $1,000 that showed up in a red kettle in Roseville on Black Friday. The organization previously noted donations are down 25 percent, or short about $250,000 compared to this point last year.The group hopes to raise more than $10 million over the holiday season.

Around the state, charitable organizations are busy with their annual service programs. Detroit Lakes Online detailed the efforts in that western Minnesota community, which are focused on families. The Detroit Lakes Angel Tree project collects names of children in need; there's a $25 limit on the presents, to prevent one sibling in a family from being the only child to receive a big, expensive gift. In addition, the town's Jaycees are also collecting toy donations and adding $2,500 to the drive and the local Masons lodge is offering photos with Santa to raise money for charitable efforts.

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