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Economy leaves local nonprofits struggling

Posted December 13, 2008
Updated December 14, 2008

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— The failing economy is making it difficult for local nonprofit organizations to help those in need.

For the first time, officials said volunteers for the American Red Cross' National Day of Giving held Saturday were calling previous donors asking for their support again. The active hurricane season set the organization back considerably.

“What we’ve found is that we’re about $30 million short of the money needed to pay for those disasters, so we’ve called in our volunteers,” Triangle Red Cross Executive Director Barry Porter said.

“It’s a rough time, but it’s important to remember people really need help more so than they did last year,” Triangle Homeworks founder Alice Ligon said.

Triangle Homeworks – a nonprofit organization that repairs, maintains or modifies homes at no cost for people in need – has also experienced the economic crunch.

More than a dozen people have been working on Maud Williams’ Cary home. Workers put in new floors and hoped to transform a sunroom into a regular bedroom for Williams’ handicapped daughter. Soon, plans for the bedroom changed.

“Unfortunately, the builder who had signed on to do that for us, because of the economic times, was unable to complete it so we had to scale down,” Ligon said.

Still, Williams is grateful for all the work being done on her home.

“It’s a great Christmas. It’s very, very nice,” Williams said.


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