It is a commonly held belief that true charitable giving should be done anonymously to have its full effect. But as we teeter on the brink of the holiday season, with all that the world has endured lately in the form of pandemic, natural catastrophe (fires, earthquakes and hurricanes, etc.) and politics (no matter what side you choose, there was stress and strife for all) spreading a little “good cheer” this year may be more important than ever.
So, if giving to charity is on your agenda, be forthcoming in your plans. We would especially counsel this if your plan is to include some sort of donation in your estate plan as well. The reasons are simple:
- Like all businesses charities must plan for the future. Knowing they can expect a gift down the road is helpful.
- It gives you an opportunity, if the gift is sizeable enough, to perhaps shape a part of the institution’s program or at least direct the money toward part of the program that means the most to you.
- It lets the organization know they are doing good and may help attract other donors.
Even if you can’t donate money, the gift of your time (and your family’s time — even your kids) is a precious gift to any organization, thought it will probably have to wait until we get the pandemic under a bit more control. All non-profits are hurting this year because of the impact of COVID. We urge you to seek out how you can help this coming holiday season, keeping CDC guidelines in mind. Here are some suggestions:
Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank
Through food drives and donations, Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank is a charitable organization that has been helping to feed Arizona’s hungry since 2001.
How to help: The food bank typically needs more food and volunteer help in the summer months.
1368 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler.
St Mary’s Food Bank
Local families are turning to St Mary’s Food Bank in record numbers because they have lost their jobs and donations from companies are not as plentiful because companies have not fully reopened.
How to help: When you make a donation to St. Mary’s Food Bank, you can receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit on your AZ state return. Receive up to $400 for individuals and $800 for those filing jointly.
2831 N. 31st Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85009
(602) 242-FOOD (3663)
St. Vincent de Paul
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international non-profit organization dedicated to serving the poor and providing others with the opportunity to serve.
How to help: Feed, cloth, house, heal … the program has a multitude of ways to get involved including adopting a family for Christmas.
ICAN is an East Valley after-school program that relies heavily on volunteers, including youth who are at least 15.
How to help: Teens may assist kids with homework or in the computer lab, with arts and crafts, sports and recreation, and during special events. An application, interview and orientation are required. Volunteer opportunities are available for age 10 or older to volunteer with an adult.
Details: 650 E. Morelos St., Chandler.
Feed My Starving Children
Christian non-profit Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) has tackled world hunger since 1987 by sending volunteer-packed, nutritious meals to 70 countries.
How to help: Volunteers are needed for 2-hour packing sessions to hand-pack life saving meals for starving childre
Details: 1345 S Alma School Rd, Mesa, AZ 8521
We’d love to hear from you if you can suggest a charitable program to add to our list. We know there are MANY worthy ones! So pick one and do your part. It’s good stuff – the best gift you can give yourself and your family and others.
NOTE: Updated 12-5-2020