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Local charities plead for help, see significant decline in donations as year ends

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Indianapolis area charities are pleading for help as donations are drastically down this year and some think it might have something to do with this election year.

Gleaners Food Bank is reporting a 15% decline in December donations. If donations don't pick up, Gleaners will not be able to fully stock their pantries in the coming months.

The Salvation Army Christmas Campaign is also down. They still need to raise $1.4 million in the next three days to meet their $3.5 million goal.

Second Helpings, CICOA, and St. Vincent de Paul are also seeing a significant decline in donations.

Gleaners CFO Joe Slater isn't sure exactly why, but he thinks the elections may have shifted where those donations went this year.

"There’s potentially distractions with other causes, potentially political causes that may be driving donations away from basic human services, basic human needs. And we just want to remind people that the need continues to remain high in our community," said Slater.

Major Jolene Hull with the Salvation Army admits they are probably seeing fewer dollars, because people aren't carrying cash as often.

"We as a community as a nation have gone to plastic. We don’t have that change or that dollar bill in our pockets anymore."

If you do give, you can receive a tax benefit when you file your 2016 taxes.

Quinn Heath, a tax preparer for Jackson Hewitt, advises giving about 1%-2% of your annual income to see a benefit.

"You actually get to take these donations and put them against your taxable income," Heath explained. "By giving more to charities… you’re going to reduce the amount that you would owe normally."

You can donate online by clicking on any of the following organizations:

Gleaners Food Bank

Salvation Army of Indiana

CICOA

St. Vincent de Paul