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St. Vincent DePaul donation increase

Posted at 6:43 PM, Nov 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-14 19:43:50-05

Small non-profit organizations around Omaha that support low income families  say they are seeing a spike in donations.

Goodwill's misfortune appears to be a gain for others.

Workers say the increase is allowing them to give more to the people who need it but also bringing more attention to what they do for the community.

"Hardly do we see a jump like we've seen it, this was a big spike," said St. Vincent DePaul  employee Rick Brown.

St. Vincent DePaul is a small corporation with a few locations around Omaha.

Recently Executive Director Ramon Calzada says donations are picking up dramatically.

"People are realizing that this is the kind of operation, a mission to help the poor," said Ramon Calzada

Employees say a World Herald investigation into Goodwill's pay structure may be playing a major role in their sudden increase this season.

"Being this big something had to be the driving force," Brown said.

A typical small business that struggles to see donations has employees working overtime and trying to squeeze everything into this warehouse.

'In the last two or three weeks we have been getting a lot more clothes and miscellaneous drop offs and scheduling pickups for the same," Brown said.

St. Vincent DePaul says they were even able to give away thousands of coats to the less fortunate this season.

"Due to the increase in donations we were able to get all the coats we needed and get them out," Brown said.

Workers say 70 percent of their profits go into programming for the less fortunate.

"They said they needed clothes I’ll bring them clothes," said Frank Schweigart.

The more donations, they receive they say they are able to give money to the poor and keep the homeless rate low.

"Paying utilities and paying rent, we are trying to prevent homelessness," Calzada said.

"It’s one of our main missions here at St. Vincent DePaul," Calzada continued.

The executive director says if this increase continues it will allow them more opportunities to hire even more employees who also come from low income families.