PHOENIX - Arizona isn't very giving, in fact, it's nearly the least giving in the U.S., that's according to a study done by WalletHub.
The Grand Canyon State is No. 49 of 50 states on the list, with New Mexico being No. 50. The most giving state is said to be Utah.
"’Tis the season for giving, and the latest World Giving Index shows that the United States is falling behind – dropping to 19th place among the most generous countries after years at the top of the list. However, U.S. donors in 2020 still gave more than $471 billion to charity, with 69% of the funds coming directly from individuals, according to the National Philanthropic Trust," the website said of the U.S. as a whole.
How did the study impact state rankings?
It looked at two factors: Volunteering and service, and charitable giving. Within those two factors is a point system where states earn points for their responses to questions such as, would you lend money to a neighbor in need? Or, who would do a favor for a neighbor?
‘People of Arizona have always stepped up …’
However, those actually in Arizona say the study doesn't add up compared to what they've experienced.
"I have seen what Arizonans do and the generosity of the people of Arizona," said St. Mary's Food Bank director of public relations, Jerry Brown. "I would have to take issue with that."
He says Arizona's ranking can't be the case, especially after seeing how many Arizonans answered the call to give to those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"When all of a sudden we went to double and triple the number of people that needed help in the donations, donations doubled and tripled. At the same time, people understand there was a need out there," Brown said.
The nonprofit fed 16,000 families just last week alone for Thanksgiving.
"People of Arizona have always stepped up for St. Mary's Food Bank. They have always stepped up for – I would imagine – a lot of charities in Arizona," Brown said.
Gilbert uses machines to give to charities
In another show of generosity, the city of Gilbert has a machine designed to make giving an easier process during the holidays.
"All you do is step up to the machine, swipe your card, you can put items in the cart and in the end, check out," explained Fran Lowder with the #LightTheWorld – a campaign put on by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
This is the third year the campaign has a machine set up in Gilbert.
"They have got items from $5 on up … If you want to donate for children, if you want to donate for the hungry, there are a variety of things in the machine to buy," Lowder said.
There are 10 locations across the U.S. with these machines.
$6.2 million was raised in 2019, $1.1 million was raised in Gilbert alone and $750,000 was given out to local charities.
The local charity benefiting this year is Arizona Brain Food which helps to feed hungry kids during after-school hours.
You can donate through Jan. 3 and the machine can be found here.
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