12/17/2011 12:04 pm ET Updated Dec 21, 2011

Holiday Donations Of Toys, Food, Money Down In Many Areas

Though a recent American Red Cross survey found that donors plan to cut back on gifts, not charity this holiday season, several major nonprofits have reported decreases in contributions.

From toys to cans of food; loose change to big checks, donations are on the decline this year. And the problem is that as donations decrease, the need for help increases.

Paul Grogan, president and chief executive office of The Boston Foundation, told the Boston Globe he isn't surprised this fact, or by disappointing numbers in donations, considering the current state of the economy.

“They also underscore the level of need we face this winter, at a time when aid coming to the region for critical winter needs is being cut sharply," he said.

The Marine Corps Toys For Tots Foundation in California's Kings County is just one local example of that national concern.

The group collected about 18,000 toys and $40,000 in donations last year, but the Hanford Sentinel reported that this year only 6,200 toys and $24,000 had been collected.

Food banks across the nation have also seen a drop in donations. The San Diego Food Bank donations dropping 54 tons, according to NBC .

"Our total food drive donations last year was 656,247 pounds of food so we have a long way to go to reach last year's total," Chris Carter, San Diego Food Bank spokesman, told NBC. "We are also concerned because we use the Holiday Food Drive to build our food supply for the winter months, but this year the food is going out as quickly as it is coming in."

And in regard to one of the most well-known ways to give, those famous red kettles have been tossed less coins then usual this year.

As one telling local example, The Nonprofit Times reports that the Salvation Army kettle donations are down 22 percent this year in Massachusetts alone.

Even the convenience of virtual donations aren't bringing in expected amounts very quickly. The Salvation Army's national internet campaign Online Red Kettle has reached just 20 percent of its $3 million goal as of today.

Still, there's always a glimmer of holiday hope.

"The good news is that we started off slow, but we're picking up," Marine Corps Sgt. Chad Burnett, a coordinator for the program in Kings County, told the Hanford Sentinel.

Want to help? Find out how you can give back this holiday.

CORRECTION: This story originally included an outdated quote attributed to someone who no longer works at Philabundance. That portion of the piece has been removed. The story also stated King's County is in Connecticut. In fact, it's in California. HuffPost regrets the errors.


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