It’s the eleventh 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 On My Team 16.

Often, charities are started out of tragedy. This one grew out of hope. On My Team16 (OMT16) was inspired by Jack Sheridan, a baseball pitcher from Syracuse, NY. Jack was diagnosed with Leukemia on May 29th, 2014, his sophomore year of high school. Through the tremendous support and encouragement from extended family, friends, strangers, and the medical community, Jack was able to beat cancer after 3 ½ years of treatment. Jack is currently attending college and playing baseball at Le Moyne in Syracuse.

You can find out more about Jack from this video:

Jack’s fight inspired his sister, Jordan Zapisek (Sheridan), to start OMT16. She has experienced firsthand the positive impact that can result from providing personal comfort and support to pediatric oncology patients and was determined to create something that can give back to kids going through the same things Jack did while looping in sports as they were and are a large part of our family. OMT16 strives to ensure no child feels alone in their fight against cancer. Every child will know they are a part of something bigger – part of a team focused on fighting and winning their battle together. You can find out more from Jordan’s blog post.

Each year, approximately 15,700 children under the age of 18 are diagnosed with cancer. Sadly 12% of those children will not survive. That means that today alone, in this country, approximately 43 children will be diagnosed. By supporting OMT16, you will help relieve that pain, that suffering, and that loneliness felt by those children and their families. OMT16 creates the “WE” in team.

So how can you help? You can make a donation via PayPal by clicking over to the website.

OMT16 also offers an unusual way to donate based on a roster that you create. Here’s how it works:

  1. Create a roster. Honor your favorite athlete or team (in season) and choose YOUR favorite performance stat (like $4.50 per strikeout).
  2. Watch the game. Just simply watch your roster perform throughout the season! OMT16 keeps track of all performance stats.
  3. And Donate. A donation amount of your liking will be made to our affiliate, Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, or a hospital of your choice.

OMT16 will be responsible for calculating all the performance stats and the totals at the end of the season (OMT16 can only accept flat donations in honor of NYSHS athletes and teams. OMT16 will be updating all donors on how their NYSHS roster is performing throughout the season).

The donation will be made to OMT16 in the name of your roster. However, the donation amount is completely up to you and does not have to be directly based on your roster’s performance. All donations are 100% tax-deductible.

Find out more here.

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.

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 On My Team 16 is on the list.

To find out more about the work of the organization, check out their website, follow them on Instagram, and like their Facebook page.

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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