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2009-11-26 digital edition

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2009-11-26 / Community News

Helping Texans In Need This Holiday Season

by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn

During the past year, many Texas families have been impacted by our nation’s struggling economy. In addition, our farmers and ranchers in Texas endured one of the worst droughts in 50 years.

Fortunately, Texas is a place where neighbors lend each other a helping hand in times of need and help each other overcome hard times. Texans have a long history of supporting local charitable organizations by donating time, money, or goods such as food or clothing to those who are less fortunate.

This year, however, studies show that our weakened economy is sending more and more Americans to seek help from charitable organizations, while at the same time, individuals who normally donate are tightening their belts and donating less. One survey shows that only 38 percent of Americans say they are more likely to give a charitable gift as a holiday present this year, compared to 49 percent last year. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, which surveys the nation’s biggest 400 charities, half of these organizations expect giving to drop this year by more than 9 percent.

But as donations drop, the demand for assistance in Texas is growing. David Davenport, CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank, recently told the Austin Chronicle, “Last month was the largest month for food distribution in our 28-year history.”

While many Texans are having to cut back this holiday season and make tough budgeting decisions, I believe each of us can contribute in some way to helping those who are less fortunate.

In communities across Texas, there are opportunities for each of us to make a positive difference in the life of a neighbor in need. However small our contribution may be, I encourage every Texan to make the extra effort this holiday season to help our fellow Texans survive these challenging times and look forward to brighter days ahead.

Sen. Cornyn serves on the Finance, Judiciary, Agriculture, and Budget Committees. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee.

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