Lincoln City Council bans for-profit donation boxes - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Lincoln City Council bans for-profit donation boxes

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By: Megan Palera
mpalera@klkntv.com

Donation boxes for the March of Dimes decorate parking lots and sidewalks all across Lincoln. But there's one big problem that doesn't sit well with the council: most of the items put inside them don't stay in town.

"There's deception here. Out and out deception. I don't know how many people I've talked to that gone to those boxes and seen what's written and posted on those boxes and think they're giving to a legitimate charity," Councilman Carl Eskridge said.

Turns out, the 80 March of Dimes boxes in Lincoln are operated by an Omaha company called EZ Drop, a for-profit business. About 30% of the items donated actually stay in Lincoln. On Monday, the council voted to ban them. In order to operate a donation box, you must meet this requirement - 80% of the gross proceeds must go back to the charity.

"The number of people here in Lincoln who could use these goods and they're never given an opportunity because that all is taken out of town and utilized somewhere else. And that's not in the best interest of what we want to do," Councilman Doug Emery said.

Not everyone was on board with the ban. Councilman Jon Camp fought hard to keep the ordinance from passing, but he was the only council member to vote against it.

"The number of people here in Lincoln who could use these goods and they're never given an opportunity because that all is taken out of town and utilized somewhere else. And that's not in the best interest of what we want to do," Camp said.

The March of Dimes or any other for-profit companies with a donation box will have 90 days to figure out a new plan.

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