Area non-profits benefit from end-of-year giving

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - For many people, New Year's Day is a reason to celebrate. For non-profits, the holiday marks the end of a steady stream of charitable giving.

"People open their wallets," said Rick Lawson, executive director of Wilmington Children's Museum. "They're buying, they're giving, they're doing things for other people, and we're a part of that."

In addition to holiday-fueled generosity, the opportunity for last-minute tax deductions also spurs increased contributions at the end of the year, non-profits leaders say.

Oscar Tester, manager of the Habitat for Humanity Restore on South Third St., said workers accepted a steady stream of donations all day New Year's Eve.

"It makes it a little busier and a little more hectic, but it's all worth it in the end," Tester said, explaining that Restore receives lots of donated building supplies from businesses clearing out their warehouses at the end of the year.

The Red Cross of Eastern North Carolina raises 35 percent of its charitable giving during the holidays, said Executive Director Vicki LaBelle.

The non-profit uses the money to help people following disasters. Since Christmas, Red Cross assisted seven families affected by house fires, LaBelle said.

"A lot of folks don't realize because we've always been there that we're not a government agency, and we do need those monetary contributions in order to provide that assistance," LaBelle said.

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