A season for giving
Published 12:52 am Monday, November 22, 2004
As the holiday season approaches, many thoughts turn to helping those less fortunate. In fact, surveys have indicated that over 50 percent of all donations to charity are made between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
It's important, however, that you don't make charitable contributions indiscriminately. There are many worthy organizations doing wonderful work in our community you can keep in mind as you make your holiday contributions.
One of the largest is Atmore's United Fund. The United Fund acts as a sort of clearinghouse to make sure charitable donations make it to the groups that need them; groups working with our local folks in this area.
The United Fund has already done the work of screening these organizations, so you can feel confident that your contribution will be put to work, not put in someone else's pocket.
Some of the organizations participating with the United Fund are organizations we know well for their work in our community, organizations like the Atmore Christian Care Ministry, American Red Cross, Agency on Aging.
It's easy to give, just ask your employer about the United Fund.
If you decide to give in other ways, the Federal Trade Commission suggests you follow these guidelines:
Discuss the donation with a trusted family member or friend before committing the funds.
Don't provide any credit card or bank account information until you have reviewed all information from the charity and made the decision to donate.
Ask for a receipt showing the amount of the contribution and stating that it is tax deductible.
Avoid cash gifts. They can be lost or stolen. For security and tax record purposes, it's best to pay by check – made payable to the beneficiary (charity), not the solicitor.