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RELIGION | IN BRIEF

Need Rises, Donations Fall, Charity Group Says

November 30, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

WASHINGTON — The nation's Catholic Charities offices expect a surge in need during the holiday season and a downturn in donations.

The Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, president of Catholic Charities USA, said a survey of 55 local agencies showed that 71% anticipate a shortage in donations this year.

More than one-third of local offices forecast a decline in food donations, and more than half said their financial contributions are lower this year. Hehir blamed the economic slowdown as the principle reason, but said charity fatigue after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the Catholic Church's ongoing sex scandal are "contributing to the lag in income."

Eighty-five percent of local offices are projecting an increase in people seeking emergency financial assistance, and 66% expect a greater need for food.

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