It’s the ninth day of our 12 Days of Charitable Giving! In December, I’ll be focusing on twelve charitable organizations which my readers have nominated as most deserving of your charitable donation. You have a couple more weeks to squeeze in you charitable deduction for tax purposes in 2014 – so why not consider one of our twelve?
Today’s featured charity is March of Dimes. March of Dimes helps moms have full-term pregnancies and research the problems that threaten the health of babies.
March of Dimes was founded more than 75 years ago by then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to polio; Roosevelt was diagnosed with polio and unable to walk. March of Dimes, formerly called the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, was a partnership between scientists and volunteers to fund and support research and education efforts in the fight against polio. Their efforts helped develop the Salk and Sabin. They were so successful that polio was nearly eradicated in the United States. (annual report downloads as a pdf) As a result, the organization focused its energies on the prenatal and neonatal care for infants and changed its name to March of Dimes, a nod to a fundraising event inviting children to donate a dime.
Today, March of Dimes still promotes healthy babies – including reducing premature births. According to the organization, about 450,000 babies are born too soon each year. In the United States, 1 in 9 babies born too soon, a rate which is higher than that of most high-income countries. You can view your state’s premature birth report card here.
This year, Kelly Clarkson (winner of American Idol’s first season), serves as a celebrity ambassador for March of Dimes youth leadership initiatives. In her role, Kelly uses her voice to generate awareness of the mission and volunteer opportunities for the March of Dimes. She also makes significant donations of her time and talent and has been recognized as top March for Babies walker, raising tens of thousands of dollars through March for Babies. Kelly’s fan message board also donates to the March of Dimes each year in honor of Kelly’s birthday.
So how can you help?
You can make a cash donation online.
You can also walk in March for Babies to give hope to nearly half a million babies born too soon each year. The money you raise supports programs in your community that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies. And it funds research to find answers to the problems that threaten our babies. March of Dimes volunteers have been walking since 1970 and have raised an incredible $2.3 billion to benefit all babies.
This year, 3 million people will join their family, friends and colleagues in nearly 700 communities across the nation. You can find an event near you here.
As always, you want to make sure that your donation is going to a qualified charitable organization. A search using the IRS’ Exempt Organizations Select Check reveals that March of Dimes is on the list. To find out more about the work of the organization, check out their website, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
Remember, submissions to the 12 Days of Charitable Giving are made by readers and in most cases, I can’t personally vouch for the good work that these folks do. So be generous. But be smart. Do your homework.
For more on making charitable donations, check out some of these prior posts:
- Making Your Gifts Count: 10 Smart Tips For Charitable Giving
- 12 Tips for Year End Charitable Giving
- Ask the taxgirl: Charitable Contributions and Receipts
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