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NYC's 'Sidewalk Santas' Sidelined Due to Economy

Saturday, 28 Nov 2009 03:36 PM

 

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NEW YORK -- The economy has taken a toll on a New York tradition: the "Sidewalk Santas" who collected money for the poor on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue.

The 107-year-old program has gone online for the second year in a row.

The nonprofit Volunteers of America-Greater New York says it doesn't have the money to manage and pay formerly homeless men to play Santa and gather donations. Spokeswoman Rachel Weinstein said Saturday that many are elderly and in fragile health.

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The Sidewalk Santas formerly set up chimney-like donation boxes in front of some of the city's most expensive stores for a month before Christmas.

Online contributions to Sidewalk Santa will still buy food vouchers for people who can't afford holiday meals.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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