a_d
Tuesday Night
57°
Partly Cloudy
1%
Wednesday
84°
Partly Sunny
1%
Wednesday Night
63°
Partly Cloudy
20%
Thursday
72°
Thunderstorms Likely
60%
Thursday Night
47°
Mostly Cloudy
14%
Friday
71°
Chance Rain Showers
49%
Friday Night
56°
Rain Showers Likely
63%
Saturday
68°
Rain Showers Likely
76%
Saturday Night
56°
Chance Rain Showers
38%
Sunday
76°
Rain Showers Likely
59%
Sunday Night
52°
Rain Showers Likely
69%
3 Day
Extended
a_d
a_d
Friday, November 29th, 2013

Local charities see increase in giving, fewer requests for aid

By Doug Drexler
CELINA - Area charities are seeing an uptick in giving and a slight drop in requests for help.
The change comes from people feeling more comfortable in their own financial situation and confident the economy is really recovering, local charitable leaders said.
"Things seem to be getting better," said Glenn Hux, executive director of the Mercer County Civic Foundation. "People who feel they're OK, give back to the community.
"I think people are seeing a slow recovery and are convinced it is a recovery."
Charities also are being cautious in how much money they request, he added.
Requests for the group's unrestricted grants were $132,114 this year compared with $142,734 in 2012 and $221,180 in 2011. The group granted $71,500 this year, $70,600 in 2012 and $64,300 in 2011.
Mary Beougher, chair of the annual Celina Combined Services Appeal, is seeing similar trends. She said people who had received charitable services during the depth of the recent recession are now returning the favor as donors to the all-volunteer organization.
People learned the value of charitable organizations during their time of need and want to help others, she added.
Hux agreed.
"People who feel they're OK give back to the community," he said.  Combined Services is in the midst of its annual drive with a goal of $125,000 - the same it sought and surpassed last year. About $75,000 has been pledged so far, Beougher said. Several large employers - Honda in Anna, which matches employees contributions, and Celina Insurance Group, which has a one-day pledge sign-up event, haven't yet made pledges.
The slow economic recovery and Mercer County's low unemployment rate have created a larger need in some ways, Hux said. The county's jobless rate - the lowest in the state for two years - has made it tougher for local groups to net funding from the state or elsewhere, he said.
Also, many people who previously were unemployed are finding their new jobs pay less and have fewer benefits, particularly insurance, Hux said.
"People go back to work, but not at the same level," he added.
The implementation of the Affordable Care Act may put a damper on donations because people aren't sure how much they will be paying for health insurance, he said. As those costs become more apparent, many people likely will make adjustments in donations.
Hux thinks the government shutdown may have spurred giving - people who were afraid the action would raise taxes made donations to lower their assets and get a charitable deduction in case the tax break was eliminated.
The economic recovery also has led to financial growth in investment income, Hux said.
"Our investments have grown," he said. "We spread out our investments conservatively."
The foundation also handles directed donations, those spent for certain purposes such as creating a scholarship fund or helping a particular charity. The foundation ensures tax and legal guidelines are met for charitable organizations.
Hux and Beougher noted the slight pace of the economic recovery has kept charities cautious in their requests.
"People are happy with what they got last year," Hux said. "They just want to hold their own."
Beougher said requests this year from Combined Services' 21 agencies are nearly the same as 2012. The charities are grateful for what they receive, she said.
"They're not over-dipping," Beougher said.
Both leaders stressed that funds collected stay local.
"If you want to help the Mercer County community, this is the place to go," Hux said.
The foundation board focuses on spending its grants inside the county unless someone specifically asks their donation go to an outside agency.
"We do whatever we can to keep the funds in Mercer County," he said.
Beougher said donors want their dollars to help neighbors.
"The community supports the community. People like to know where their money's going," she said.
a_d
Additional online story on this date
Jerry Harris had stood before his team a couple of dozen times since taking over the Celina football program two years earlier, but this time was unique. [More]
Subscriber only stories on this date
Local shopping starts with a bang
Local attorneys will represent murder suspect
Celina 2014 general fund pegged at $3M
Area man among those suing state over Ohio's new exotic animal law
Flyers, Blue Jays rematch for ticket to title game
Roughriders pose tough challenge to Cavaliers
Emerging from the shadows
Hoyng will be the go-to player for Celina
Inexperience a concern for the Bulldogs
Bruns playing the waiting game at Coldwater
Cavaliers have depth in frontcourt, backcourt
Kahlig will be the leader for a young team
Lennartz will be the leader for Fort Recovery
Flyers welcome back wealth of experience
Marion Local has three starters returning
Only two letter winners return for Minster
Wildcats hoping for better start to the season
Cardinals will build around Manger, Homan
Depth, experience a concern for New Bremen
Rangers hoping last year's experience pays off
New Knoxville aiming to repeat in MAC
Hickman optimistic for successful season
Parkway welcomes back four returning starters
Redskins are trying to overcome injuries
Huelsman welcomes back strong nucleus
Hegemier three wins shy of 500 for career
Fulmer predicts improved season for 'Riders