Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
By Amy Kronenberger
Charitable giving increases
  Some local churches have seen a recent increase in donations when compared to stagnant amounts since the economy crashed in 2008.
"Donations to the church and contributions to the food pantry have gone up in the last six months," said Ellen Homan, business manager of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Coldwater.
Previous to six months ago, donations remained mostly level, she said.
"I think people are donating more because they want to help their neighbors in need," she said. "They see a need out there in Mercer County, and they want to help."
Homan said along with an increase in donations, there also has been more people using the pantry.
Jessica Rammel, business manager at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in St. Marys, said she also has seen a recent increase in donations.
"Two years ago wasn't bad, and last year we had a big decrease in donations," Rammel said. "But we recently finished an Archdiocese Stewardship Campaign and collections were up. We had a really good response."
Rammel said she believes donations originally dropped because people lost their jobs and couldn't give. When they were rehired, they also didn't donate. They got comfortable not giving, she said.
"But the recent campaign really got them going again," Rammel said. "We talked to them and gave them a chance to think about their stewardship to the church."
Joseph Cavanaugh, professor of economics at Wright State University-Lake Campus, said Ohio and the nation has seen one of the worst recessions ever. However, with jobless rates improving, the economy is on the mend, he said.
"An increase in personal income typically means a giving increase of about 8 percent," Cavanaugh said. "Personal income and capital gains always affect giving. So as jobless rates decrease and the stock market improves, the amount of giving will go up."
Despite the recovering economy, Jeff Conrad, lead pastor at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Celina, said the church has seen a steady decline in donations since 2008 and hasn't yet noticed an increase.
CPA Ryan Byers, a staff accountant at Ault, Henderson & Lewis in Celina, said the company also has seen a decline in donations in the tax returns they've filed in past years.
CPA Jim Harting of Moorman, Harting & Co., Coldwater, said the company has seen ups and downs in donations.
"The amount of a donation definitely correlates with the income. As incomes go up, so do donations," he said.
Additional online stories for this date
Print and E-Edition only stories for this date
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