Even in a recession, Madison "most charitable" - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Even in a recession, Madison "most charitable"


MADISON (WKOW) -- With Thanksgiving a week away, Madison was named most charitable city in America.

Men's Health Magazine gives Madison an A+ when it comes to donations and charitable giving -- the only city in the country to receive that grade.

Charities are counting on that generous reputation.

Salvation Army bell ringers kicked off their red kettle campaign Thursday. And the Society of St. Vincent De Paul is looking for donations, too, from food pantries to thrift stores.

According to their web site, the Goodman Community Center is still 4,888 items short of fulfilling its Thanksgiving meal baskets -- everything from cranberry sauce, to pumpkin pie, to potatoes.

The Salvation Army says it's seeing a huge increase in the number of people using its services.

"It's gone up way more than we thought it would," said Ruth Ann Schoer with the Salvation Army.

The number of people using the emergency warming shelters is skyrocketing. By the end of this year, Salvation Army expects more than 4,000 shelter stays. That number was 878 in 2007.

"They just keep coming, and we keep trying to fill the need," Schoer said. "With the help of people this Christmas season, we hope to take care of the increase we're seeing."

E-mail Jeff Angileri -- jangileri@wkowtv.com


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