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Donations down, need up at Union Gospel Mission

By Carly Krug

The Union Gospel Mission is pushing forward despite a drop of nearly $300,000 in donations this year.

In 70 years of helping the homeless, the UGM "has never seen a significant dip like this in donations - ever," said UGM president Bill Mollard.

"It really comes at a challenging time."

More worrying is that while donations are down, need is up.

"Our bread lines are longer than they've ever been," said Mollard.

But it's business as usual, especially with the annual Christmas Dinner this Saturday.

More than 3,000 people will be served a hot holiday meal for which they're carving 130 turkeys and serving up 500 cherry pies.

What will fall behind, Mollard said, is any increase in services that normally occurs this time of year.

"Some people are looking at a very hard Christmas," Mollard said.

But he's not giving up hope yet.

"Christmas isn't over. There's lots of time for people to step up."

Donations can be made via UGM's online Christmas catalogue

Carly Krug reports for Vancouver's 24 hours.

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