Charitable donations help others while also allowing tax deduction

Published 11:30am Saturday, December 28, 2013

Mississippians are known for their charity, and Brookhaven area residents are some of the most generous.

That fact was made evident this Christmas as The Daily Leader and Bank of Brookhaven’s annual Holiday Food Pantry Drive brought in $10,000 for five local organizations and ministries that provide food and other vital services for the needy in our community.

We express our sincere appreciation to Daily Leader readers for helping the drive see its 10th successful year. The food pantry drive funds were distributed evenly among the agencies shortly before Christmas.

As we begin to take down our Christmas decorations and look forward to the new year, we should also keep the needs of others in mind as we finalize these last few days of 2013.

While the joy of giving should be enough in its own right, charitable donations also offer the giver an opportunity to add an additional deduction that can be claimed on this year’s tax returns.

The true spirit of charity though, is in the giving, and what better way to be charitable than to give locally to help those among us right here at home who for one reason or another are less fortunate.

The opportunities to be charitable are many. The recent Holiday Food Pantry drive provided funds for food pantries at Bethel AME Church, the Greater Hope Foundation, St. Francis of Assisi/St. Vincent DePaul, St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church and Union Hall Baptist Church. Each of these organizations will welcome an additional donation, should you choose to help.

Other local churches are certainly an obvious choice for a charitable donation, as is the local United Way, which provides funds to a number of agencies here in Lincoln County. These include the Boy Scouts, City Recreation Department, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Girl Scouts, American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Club, Lincoln County 4-H, Outreach Ministries, Lincoln County Emergency Relief, Widows and Orphans Center, Guardian Shelter, ROTAP (Reach Out to Another Person) Mentoring, Brookhaven Beautiful, Sunshine Shelter, Habitat for Humanity, Pee Wee Football and Brookhaven Little Theatre.

The Lincoln County Mississippi Scholars organization also would be happy to use your donation for local scholarships, as would area colleges and schools. Do a little research, and you’ll find there are even more local charitable organizations and ministries that you can help.

As we reflect on 2013 and begin to look forward to 2014, let’s also use this time to share our blessings with others.