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New Year’s Eve means champagne and resolutions. It also means a last chance to make charitable donations that can be claimed on 2012 taxes.
Goodwill stores typically see an increase in giving during the final weeks of December.
Much of that increase comes from residents doing end-of-year cleaning, making room for new gifts and trying to take advantage of a tax deduction for charitable giving, said Heather Hise, communication and public relations specialist for Goodwill Industries of Kentucky.
“Our communities are so generous around this time of year,” she said.
The store provides a receipt for items brought in at the time of donation. Goodwill doesn’t keep copies of the receipts, so donors must keep them in case of an audit.
Donors are asked to estimate the value of what they donate for an amount to put on the receipt.
A price list is available for suggestions, such as $3 for a shirt or pants and $5 for coats or outerwear for adults.
Donors can use the amounts on the receipts as itemized deductions for charitable giving. They must make the donations by Monday to count the deductions for 2012.
Gifts to Goodwill help the community because the organization assists with job training and workplace placement, Hise said.
That includes staffing centers mostly with employees with disabilities or disadvantages that might make it difficult for them to find employment.
Goodwill also offers a job resource center on West Poplar Street in Elizabethtown that offers free use of fax machines, phones, job search resources and other help in finding work.
Goodwill receives a lot of new and gently used clothing. That’s also what the stores sell the most, Hise said.
There always is a need for clothes, toys, music, movies, small appliances and other items, she said.
“We are more than happy to accept any excess that people happen to bring in,” she said.
Helping Hand of Hope also receives a lot of clothing donations, but no donations are turned away. Even clothing not suitable for use is sold by the pound to a company that repurposes it as scrap fabric.
Money from that, the sale of scrap metal and other creative fundraising goes into client services.
One of the most useful donations is cash because it can be used to pay clients’ rent and utilities or other needs, director David Dozer said.
“We work every day to be able to help people because it is a never-ending need,” he said.
Cash given to a capital campaign to build the organization a new headquarters between Elizabethtown and Radcliff to consolidate the offices in each town also are tax deductable.
Helping Hand of Hope also writes receipts for deduction calculation and proof during an audit. Non-cash donation value is calculated using a web-based formula.
Helping Hand of Hope always needs furniture, especially bedroom furniture. The organization offers a pick-up service for such donations.
There is more than a financial benefit to giving this month, Dozer said.
“Helping Hand of Hope serves some 30,000 clients a year,” he said. “That’s a pretty staggering number. I know that when you help someone, you get a blessing.”
Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or email@example.com.