High cost of living leading to lower charity donations

By Vanessa Ybarra
December 21, 2016 - 4:35pm Updated: December 22, 2016 - 10:25am

KAMLOOPS — A new Vancity report shows B.C's high cost of living is resulting in fewer charity donations.

According to the report, the percentage of people who donate to charities in B.C has dropped from 74% to just below 60% in the last five years.

Debbie Smith with Volunteer Kamloops says B.C's current $10.85 minimum wage doesn't allow much left-over money for people to donate.

"When you're living with minimum wage and your paycheque is under $1,000 or $500, you can't even afford rent on that," said Debbie Smith, Acting Vice President for Volunteer Kamloops. "It's very challenging to live on a minimum wage or on income assistance."

Smith adds B.C Gaming has tightened regulations and that has also played a part in a drop in revenues, including Volunteer Kamloops.

"Over the years it has gone down," said Smith. "They're a little more strict with applications and we even noticed that there were some agencies that didn't even receive funding through B.C gaming this year," said Smith.

While donation numbers may be down, the Vancity report shows volunteer numbers remain consistent, with close to half of all British Columbians saying they volunteer on a regular basis.


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