It’s the third day of my 12 Days of Charitable Giving for 2020. Readers have suggested deserving charities over the past few weeks, and I’ll be posting the results here. Today’s charity is James Storehouse.

James Storehouse partners with local public and private child welfare agencies to fulfill emergency requests to expedite safe placement of babies and children and assists aged-out youth as they transition.

James Storehouse provides emergency resources in free boutiques and warehouse, and hosts life skills classes which foster emotional healing through restorative relationships. In 2019, James Storehouse provided emergency resources for 5,023 foster children and their caregivers in Ventura County and Los Angeles County.

Our nominator writes, “With the pandemic and increasing domestic violence under lockdowns, JS is also providing support for women who need to move out with their children – providing help with getting apartment rentals, furniture, supplies, etc. Supporting women in this situation will hopefully prevent their children from ever entering the foster system in the first place.”

So how can you help? To make a donation, click over to the website. You can also give through Venmo.

For federal income tax purposes, if you plan to claim a deduction for a cash contribution, you’ll want to keep a record of the donation. Ideally, the organization will provide a written record with the name of the charity, date, and amount of the contribution.

And this year, don’t forget that taxpayers who make cash donations of up to $300 before December 31, 2020, are now eligible for a charitable deduction when they file in 2021 – even if they don’t itemize. As part of the CARES Act, the special $300 deduction is available to taxpayers who choose to take the standard deduction rather than itemizing their deductions.

If you’d like to donate goods, you can donate through JS’ Amazon Registry. And for the holidays, be sure to take a peek at the Holiday Catalog. Be sure to keep good receipts!

If you’d like to do something more personal, you can create a starter kit. A child can enter foster care at any time of the day or night. Imagine how alone and scared they feel! They typically have nothing with them except the clothes on their back. So, JS creates “Starter Kits” to ease their transition, comfort them, and provide basic necessities in the critical first hours as they enter a foster or group home. Find out more here.

You can also pack a backpack with school supplies so they can be successful in school: packed backpacks are needed all year long. Children and youth usually enter foster care with no personal belongings and have nothing for school. Find out more here.

You can also support JS by patronizing their shop. All funding goes directly to provide emergency resources for youth in foster care. And while that’s a great reason – and fun to boot – to shop, keep in mind that it won’t result in a charitable deduction.

Do your homework. As always, you want to make sure that your donation is going to a qualified charitable organization. A search using the IRS’ new Tax Exempt Organization Search (formerly Select Check) reveals that James Storehouse 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 or Instagram.

Remember: Readers nominate their favorite charities to the 12 Days of Charitable Giving, and in most cases, I can’t personally vouch for the organizations. So be generous but be smart: Do your homework.

For more on making charitable donations, click here.

For other charities in the series, see:

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Kelly Phillips Erb is a tax attorney, tax writer, and podcaster.

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