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November 29, 2011

Las Vegas Nonprofits Checking ID's for Holiday Giveaways

Some charities in the Las Vegas area are requiring families to show identification before receiving holiday-season aid such as turkeys and toys, according to Reuters.

Aid groups said the move was prompted by a growing incidence since the start of the recession of recipients getting multiple holiday turkeys, reselling donated items, coming in from outside Nevada, or lining up for giveaways with children from other families. Las Vegas was particularly hard-hit by the bursting of the housing bubble, and Nevada has the country's highest unemployment and foreclosure rates.

HELP of Southern Nevada, which in recent years began asking families to show Social Security cards or children's birth certificates, is adding a state identification requirement this year "to circumvent what we saw as fraud," said Fuilala Riley, the charity's chief operations officer. The Salvation Army of Clark County and Lutheran Social Services have also instituted checks.

Critics of the ID checks said they could effectively exclude undocumented immigrants and homeless people, many of whom lack state identification papers.