Bad economy pinches giving

Published 10:53 pm Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Financially, times are tough but when your primary source of income largely depends on the generosity of others, things get a little tougher.

The Demopolis City Schools Foundation began its annual membership push this week, placing letters in the mail to prospective members — prospective members Jan McDonald realizes are probably clutching the purse strings tighter than ever.

“A lot of people are tightening their belts,” she said. “Maybe not because something has happened, but as a guard in case something does happen.”

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Whatever the reason, unrestricted giving to the Foundation is down more than 12 percent over last year, which makes the success of the membership drive and two upcoming fundraisers even more critical.

“The funds we raise right now will be applied to the next school year,” McDonald said, “and right now, we’re on pace to come up short of last year, which means we won’t be able to fund as many grants.”

For the 2009 school year, the Foundation awarded $56,500 to city school teachers. Since its inception in 1994, the Foundation has doled out more than $706,000 for education needs.

“Right now, we’re hoping to have at least $50,000 (for next year),” McDonald said. “A lot of that depends on School Fest and our Pancake Dinner.”

School Fest is scheduled for May 1, and the Pancake Dinner for April 21.

Those interested in joining the Foundation should contact McDonald at 289-2226.

Donations may be mailed to the Foundation office at P.O. Box 1338, Demopolis, AL 36732.