JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
Mississippians often thinks gifts more than greed. The state took the number two spot in a recent study of charitable giving in the U.S. Food boxes like the ones at Operation Shoestring are a visible result of where donation money is going.
Teenager Jarvis Austin admits it's making a major impact on his family.
"If it wasn't for them, then we wouldn't have the food on the table," said Austin. "They help us a lot."
Just make sure you're not throwing your money away during this season of giving.
"It's important that when people support non-profits that they get to know them and the work that they're doing is quality," explained Operation Shoestring communications director Robin Walker.
You can check the Secretary of State's website to see the breakdown on how much actually goes toward assistance.
"82 percent. 82 cents of every dollar goes directly to helping people with the Salvation Army," said Captain Ken Chapman with The Salvation Army.
Chapman said need knows no season. But the organization collects nearly half its overall revenue between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That rings true for other charities. If you're coughing up the cash, make sure you don't become a scam victim in the process.
"There are too many things out there, fly by your pants charities," described Chapman. "Because of caring hearts Mississippians have, they need to be a lot more careful about how they're giving their money."