Many Americans Plan To Give To Charities This Holiday Season

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WESTFIELD — Even as the nation’s economy continues to struggle through a third straight holiday season, the majority of Americans remain committed to charitable giving, according to a new American Red Cross poll.

A telephone survey of 1,020 adults conducted earlier this fall found that even though 67 percent of Americans didn’t think the economic downturn would last this long, they still want to give to charities. Seven out of 10 saying they expect to donate more or about the same this holiday season as they did last year.

“No matter their personal financial hardships, Americans still want to give,” said Suzanne Lutz, executive director of the Raritan Valley Red Cross. “Rather than giving a gift someone won’t use, people want to give meaningfully and know their gift is making a difference.”

Other key findings include:

  • Four in five (80 percent) of respondents felt their finances are either the same or worse than they were last year.
  • Sixty-eight percent of Americans believe that because of the economy, it’s important to give something to charity. That’s a 10 percentage point increase over the 58 percent who felt that way last year.
  • More than half (55 percent) of Americans say they feel bad about spending money on gifts people might not use.
  • Four in five (79 percent) agreed that they would rather have a charitable donation in their honor than get a gift they wouldn’t use.
  • About one in five (19 percent) of respondents plan on giving blood this holiday season.

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