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Why are Milwaukee residents feeling donation fatigue?

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The clock is ticking for organizations to meet their charitable goals this year, but there may be a reason why some of them are far behind.

Hurricanes, the Las Vegas shooting, and wildfires already had Wisconsinites donating to many different relief efforts this year, but are local organizations now affected because of it?

The Red Kettle Campaign in Waukesha is behind $35,000. There's a similar situation at the Hunger Task Force in Milwaukee.

"We're about $280,000 behind," Hunger Task Force Sherrie Tussler said. "This is an unusual year because normally people are super generous. They give us the food and money we need and this year things are down."

Psychotherapist Emily Keeling of Elle Studio and Wellness in Milwaukee said there may be a reason for it. Keeling said it can be overwhelming for people who may have given to Puerto Rico, Houston and Las Vegas relief efforts earlier this year. 

"What ultimately happens is this issue of 'well I donated this first time, now this new tragedy has happened, what do I do?'," Keeling said.

If you can't give money, Keeling suggests giving time.

"You get the one-on-one face to face. You get that immediate gratification, I've done something this holiday season that makes me feel really good," Keeling said.

Giving time is something Hanson said would have helped the Red Kettle Campaign this year. Waukesha volunteer hours were up, but the number of volunteers was not.

"If no one is at the kettle ringing, no one will donate," Hanson said. "People tend to walk by, mostly because they don't see it."

Hanson said the Salvation Army did have a push for hurricane relief donations months ago, but doesn't think it hurt.

"Possibly made a little bit of a dent in what they have left to give this time of year, but there's always a desire to take care of those closest to home as well," Hanson said.

Keeling said if you feel overwhelmed about which organizations to give to, she suggests taking a moment to think about it.

"I recommend that each person takes time, sits and reflects on 'what is most important to me this year'," Or what happened in my life that I feel especially connected to this cause," Keeling said.


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