USA Today reports that companies across the country are slashing bonuses, severance packages and pay raises. 40% of surveyed companies plan to reduce the amount allotted for raises in 09 and 62% say they will be giving smaller bonuses than last year. The number of companies holding holiday parties is the lowest in reportable history. American Express just canceled its annual year-end bash. Companies that normally avoid any layoffs are now compiling lists of who will be let go. (We all know Holiday parties affect our industry)

Here is the interesting part of the story. A lot of charities are seeing an increase in giving. Some companies are reporting that employees are skipping the company holiday party and to feed the hungry instead. Justin Greeves, VP of Harris Interactive (a giving tracking organization) says that “in a year when people are having trouble meeting basic needs, giving by individuals usually increases.” Companies decide that instead of a lavish party, they’ll help those in need.

It seems that when we have too much we become greedy and hoarders. But when we are struggling ourselves, we are more willing to help each other out. What are you doing to help out?