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Some Maritimers struggle to give during Giving Tuesday

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Despite the current cost of living, Florence Worth still made a point to donate to her local soup kitchen in Sydney, N.S., on Tuesday.

"Well, it is, but you know - I still do it,” said Worth as she dropped a donation off at the Loaves and Fishes community kitchen and food bank.

Marco Amati, the general manager of Loaves and Fishes says despite rising costs, people continue to give pretty consistently.

"They do, but they believe in what we do,” said Amati. “We've been here 43 years and we're a staple in the community."

However, not all charitable organizations have that advantage.

"Canadians are giving less as the cost of living increases," said Sarah Lyon, a Nova Scotia representative for Giving Tuesday Canada. "Organizations are being hit twice. We're being hit with less donations, but higher demand for our services."

Numbers from IPSOS Canada really drive home her point.

The market research firm says 20 per cent of Canadians use charitable services to meet essential needs.

They found 24 per cent expect they'll need to do so in the next six months, and a whopping 69 per cent of Canadians accessed charitable services for the first time ever this year.

Meanwhile, according to the 2023 Giving Report, 30 per cent of charities are experiencing revenue below pre-pandemic levels.

"I'm looking for $2,500 from 100 individuals or businesses, which would give me a quarter of a million dollars,” said Lynne McCarron, executive director of United Way of Cape Breton.

Despite everyone's struggles, McCarron feels she'll reach that goal, in part because she thinks that feeling the pinch themselves makes it easier for people to put themselves in the shoes of those who are really struggling.

"I think it's absolutely giving people more empathy to what the situation is,” McCarron said. “When you go to the grocery store, and you're feeling that impact. When you go to the gas pump, you're feeling that impact."

If push comes to shove, charities are counting on peoples' kindness.

"We have no doubt that Canadians are going to hear that there is this crisis happening at organizations, and they're going to give back,” Lyon said.

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