Last night I put on a red and green scarf and gathered up tins of homemade Christmas cookies my wife made to deliver to neighbors.  At one house my neighbor was telling me how rewarding it was to be involved in taking a Christmas wish list for elementary school age children and going shopping for them.  She said that the kids will never know it was her that got them the gifts that ended up under the tree, but just imaging their surprise on Christmas morning was reward enough.  Since the 1980s, I have been involved in nonprofits that have met needs of at-risk children.  My heart is warmed when I think back on stories of people that got involved with helping meet kids’ needs during Christmas.  Many I have spoken with in the police department love to participate in, “Shop with a Cop” and other philanthropic endeavors.  I am thankful for all that everyone is doing. I hope you all have the inspiration and determination to meet multiple needs with joy this year.

I’m going to take off my Christmas hat and don an accountant’s visor for just a moment.  Many reading this will know what tax bracket you will work with after all the dust has cleared for December.  Some will do well to give a tax-deductible end of year gift that will not only meet a need but situate you better for filling out your 2023 tax reports.

My concern this year comes with a report from the USDA.  Across the United States food insecurity has risen from an average of 10.2% to 12.8%.  This means more kids will be hungry this holiday time.  “Good Samaritans” will help meet some of this need.  1 in 5 American kids and their parents do not know where the next meal is coming from (13 million children) but good-hearted people will help fill some of these gaps.  What becomes challenging for many who want to do something to make a difference is knowing how and where to give.  Sometimes we have heard about agencies that are not good stewards of money and very little of it actually goes to meeting a need.  That’s where the Gives Foundation comes in.  We vet organizations that we provide grants to.  We make sure that children receive the benefit of what is given. We have requirements to assure that 100% of money donated goes into program so that children are fed and even make recommendations to agencies on how they can seek other resources to meet administrative needs.  When you give to the Gives Foundation you can know that the gift you give goes to filling hungry bellies of children.

Written by Gary Brewster

Executive Director