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It’s the last 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 Halftime Gear.

Okay, confession time and full disclosure: for years, all of the charities on the 12 Days lists have been nominated by readers. Except for this one. This was nominated by me.

Let me explain.

If you follow me on social media, you know that I have kids and those kids play sports. Some of those kids play two different sports. All of those sports cost money.

And I’m going to be honest: I didn’t realize how much money kids’ sports cost until my own kids started playing. It is worlds of difference from when I used to play rec soccer as a little girl at Monk’s Corner in rural North Carolina.

Soccer player

Today’s sports are hardcore, with tryouts – for travel and school – and tournaments. There are fees – and sometimes pricey equipment.

Both of my girls play hockey – both field hockey and ice hockey. My middle child is a goalkeeper (“Though she be but little, she is fierce”) in both sports. When we started her out as a youth goalkeeper, I was shocked at the cost of the pads, helmets, chest protectors, and other protective gear. And then she grew. When I went to replace the gear, I couldn’t bear the thought of just tossing out the old gear. So I made a phone call to find out whether anyone might be interested in the old gear: the answer was a resounding yes.

field hockey player


My girls considered that they might have other gear of use for families who couldn’t afford new. They had sticks that were now too short and skates that were too small. And my son – who plays soccer – seemed to need to replace his cleats every few months. What if, the girls thought, they collected their own gear AND gear from other families? They could clean it up and find new homes for it.

And with that, Halftime Gear “Because the game is not over yet!” was born.

The charity started in 2019. Since then, the girls have collected boxes and boxes of gear. They have spent hours collecting it, sorting it, cleaning it up and diligently hunting down organizations in need. Sometimes, as last year, they box it up and drive it to the new location (we drove out to Lancaster, PA, to donate to a soccer camp that works with refugees) and other times, they box it for shipping (as they have done during the pandemic). In December alone, they sent four boxes of large boxes of gear to organizations working with underserved youth playing baseball and soccer.

I’ve been struck by their hard work and while I did the company stuff (including applying for tax-exempt status), they have always been the muscles and voice of the organization.

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

You can also mail a check to:

Half Time Gear, Inc

c/o 20 South Valley Road #100A

Paoli, PA 19301

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.

You can also donate gently used gear. To donate gear, contact the girls directly – or if you live in southeastern Pennsylvania, you can look out for collection boxes. Remember that you can deduct the cost of your gear: the amount of your charitable contribution is generally the fair market value of the property at the time of the contribution.

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 Halftime Gear is on the list.

To find out more about the work of the organization, check out their website, follow them on Twitter or 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:

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:

It’s the tenth 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 Change Is On The Menu.

Change Is On The Menu is more of a rallying cry than a charity. Technically, the charity behind the campaign is the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). But our nominator was struck by the campaign, which rallies support and donations to help employees get back to building a future in the restaurant industry.

Here’s what the campaign aims to do:

100% of all donations go directly to help fund the Foundation’s industry-leading restaurant education and training programs including:

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

Please mail your check donation to NRAEF’s deposit box at:

NRAEF
24405 Network Place
Chicago, IL 60673-1244

To donate by phone or to get assistance with your donation, call 1-202-315-4118, Monday-Friday 9 am-5 pm ET.

And if you give by the end of 2020, your gift will be DOUBLED thanks to Tito’s Handmade Vodka. You can, however, only deduct the value of your own gift for tax purposes.

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 Change Is On The Menu isn’t on the list: remember, it’s a campaign, not a charity. The actual charity is the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation which is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. NRAEF 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: 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:

It’s the ninth 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 the Women’s Initiatives that Strengthen and Empower (WISE).

WISE is a non-profit organization 501(c)(3) dedicated to providing educational and vocational opportunities to families, displaced women, and children in developing countries. They work through local women’s centers, providing high school and college scholarships, support to displaced women, and vocational training. They currently work primarily in the sub-Saharan country of Zambia.

Our nominator says she is “a firm believer in education as an equalizer, which is why I am impressed by the work that WISE is doing in Zambia.” She notes that “They work mostly in rural areas and provide opportunities for otherwise vulnerable and marginalized populations and she “especially like their focus on women and girls who are particularly vulnerable in the context of a developing country.”

Why does this matter? Our nominator stresses that “[e]ducation has a multiplier effect in the sense that when you educate a girl you pull a whole family out of poverty. Studies have shown that educating women and girls is particularly beneficial to the families and future children of these women and girls. In developing countries, the majority of the poor are women and girls and so empowering them is one of the most effective ways of meaningfully reducing poverty.”

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

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 WISE 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:

It’s the eighth 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 the National Law Center On Homelessness And Poverty (rebranding as the National Homelessness Law Center).

The National Homelessness Law Center is the only national legal group dedicated to ending and preventing homelessness. NHLC operates programs across the United States that serve America’s more than 3.5 million homeless families, children, and individuals.

NHLC believes that the right to adequate housing, healthcare, food, and education lies at the heart of human dignity and envisions a world where no one has to go without the basics of human survival. This has been especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

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.

You can also volunteer. The Law Center considers volunteer applications on a rolling basis as needed. Please submit a cover letter and resume to operations@nlchp.org with the type of volunteer position you are interested in as the subject line:

  • Website Designer (Pro Bono): The Law Center is seeking a part-time (3-5 hours/week) web designer to help ongoing updates and long-term projects of the Law Center’s website. This project is expected to last 8 weeks, and a tax deductible donation receipt will be available for services provided.
  • Volunteer Attorney (Pro Bono projects): The Law Center is seeking a part-time (15-25 hours/week) volunteer attorney to help develop, maintain, and oversee our large program of pro bono legal projects. It will be a great opportunity to oversee innovative legal work involving homelessness, housing, poverty, and education projects, work directly with attorney volunteers at major law firms and corporate legal departments.

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 the National Law Center On Homelessness And Poverty 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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It’s the seventh 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 Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research.

Founded in 1999 as the Center for Children’s Policy, Practice and Research (renamed the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research in 2003), the Field Center employs a multidisciplinary approach through a collaboration of multiple graduate and undergraduate schools at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). The Field Center seeks to promote fundamental reform, to motivate essential research and scholarship dedicated to children’s welfare, and to provide an interdisciplinary resource center assuring the highest quality of research, advocacy, and ethical pursuit of improvement of the systems protecting children at risk of abuse or neglect.

Guided by the Schools of Social Policy & Practice, Law, Arts and Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, the Graduate School of Education and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Field Center together the resources of the University of Pennsylvania to enhance and assure the well-being of abused and neglected children and those at risk of maltreatment. By moving beyond traditional approaches, the Field Center utilizes an interdisciplinary model to integrate clinical care, research and education, inform local and national policy, and prepare the nation’s future leaders, for the benefit of children and their families.


Why is this needed? Of the 1,500 to 2,000 children killed each year by their caretakers, more than half die after they have come to the attention of child welfare agencies.

So how can you help? You can make a donation by credit card by clicking over to the website. You will be directed to the University of Pennsylvania website, where the dropdown fields are already appropriately selected to designate the funds to The Field Center.

To submit a donation by mail, please make checks payable to the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. In the memo line, please include: Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research Challenge Gift Fund

University of Pennsylvania
Office of the Treasurer
PO Box 71332
Philadelphia, PA 19176-9913

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 The Field Center is not on the list: that’s because it’s affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania. The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania 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:

It’s the sixth 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 The Ty Louis Campbell Foundation.

The Ty Louis Campbell Foundation is a nonprofit organization (EIN: 45-1858390) that funds innovative research and clinical trials specifically geared toward the treatment of the most aggressive childhood cancers. Their mission is to help fund the intelligence and technology that will improve long-term survival rates and minimize side-effects for children diagnosed with the deadliest cancers, while helping to care for families when their child is in treatment by providing financial assistance and uplifting experiences.

The organization’s inspiration, Ty Louis Campbell, the “best good boy in the whole wide world,” passed away on October 17, 2012, of childhood cancer. After Ty passed away, instead of gifts of flowers, his family asked his supporters to celebrate the joys of childhood in his honor. To allow their children to jump in muddy puddles (one of Ty’s greatest aspirations), to give piggyback rides to bed, to play with glitter, to get downright messy and have fun in celebration of Ty’s spirit, because that is how he wanted to live his life.

Our nominator has had the privilege of being on the board of this special charity for the last six years.

To read the blog that Ty’s mom wrote during his journey, visit tylouis.blogspot.com.

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

You can also mail a donation to:

The Ty Louis Campbell Foundation
1787 Route 6
Carmel, NY 10512

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 Ty Louis Campbell Foundation 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:

It’s the fifth 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 One Simple Wish.

One Simple Wish believes that every child deserves love, hope and joy.

Every year nearly 500,000 children are impacted by abuse, neglect, and trauma and spend time in our nation’s foster care system. It can be lonely, confusing, and a bit scary. Through One Simple Wish’s innovative wish-granting platform, you can send some love to a child who needs it.

One Simple Wish is an online platform that brings national awareness to the foster care system and empowers YOU to brighten the lives of thousands of children by granting their unique wishes. One Simple Wish works with over 700 social service agencies throughout the United States to collect wishes from kids in foster care, those that are aging out, and other young people in under-served communities that are involved in the child welfare system. One Simple Wish posts those wishes on their website for you to grant.

Our nominator says, “One Simple Wish deserves mention because the organization shows the world how to brighten lives and spread joy to kids in foster care one simple wish at a time. The charity has touched the lives of 40K children/youth so far!”

So how can you help? You can grant a wish. You can search wishes by the age of the child and price here.

You can also make a donation by credit card by clicking over to the website.

You can also mail a donation to:

One Simple Wish,
1977 N Olden Ave #292,
Trenton, NJ 08618

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 are interested in donating stock, airline miles, or credit card points you may also contact One Simple Wish at info@onesimplewish.org.

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 One Simple Wish 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:

It’s the fourth 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 World Central Kitchen.

World Central Kitchen (WCK) was started by Chef Jose Andres and his wife, Patricia. Years ago, they dreamed of an organization that would use food to empower communities and strengthen economies.

In 2020, Chef Andres and WCK sprang into action in communities around the United States and the world to meet the daily needs of families in need of a warm plate of food – and supported thousands of local restaurants in the process. They also responded to natural and manmade disasters in countries on five continents, from massive bushfires in Australia to a deadly explosion in Lebanon to devastating hurricanes in Central America. 

They provide fresh, not pre-packaged – meals to those in need. “That means that not only are the recipients receiving help,” our nominator writes, “the farmers and community they live in are also receiving help.”

WCK has shown that there is no place too far or disaster too great for chefs to be there with a hot plate of food when it’s needed most.

During COVID, WCK has responded through their ChefsForAmerica program providing 30 million meals in 400 cities, using 2400 restaurants who received $117M in revenue at a time when they might have had to close their doors. And when it came time to vote, WCK stepped up with Chefs for the Polls, setting up stations in 250 cities across the US to be sure that no one would have to forgo voting in order to have a meal while spending those hours in lines. Between October 12 and November 3, they worked with 500 restaurants to provide 500,000 meals in 250 cities and 735 polling stations.

If you’ve heard of Chef Andres, you’re not alone. It feels like he’s everywhere, doing great work.

Our nominator first learned of this organization a few years ago, when she had the good fortune to be in the audience for a taping of Late Night with Seth Meyers and one of his guests was the amazing chef Jose Andres. She writes, “Besides being entertaining, his passion for feeding the hungry was so remarkable.”

So how can you help? To make a one time or monthly donation by bank transfer or credit card, click over to the website.

You can also donate via Paypal: https://wck.org/paypal

If you’d like to mail a check, please make your check payable to World Central Kitchen, Inc. and mail to: World Central Kitchen, Attn: Erin Gore, 655 New York Ave NW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20001. However, WCK notes that due to USPS delays and remote work policies, there have been significant delays in their ability to process donations by check. If you’d like to donate by wire transfer instead, please contact donations@wck.org to inquire about details.

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.

WCK accepts donations via stock, wire transfer, PayPal, check, and donor-advised funds. For full details on other ways to give, please visit: https://wck.org/other-ways-to-give/

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 WCK 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:

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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