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Be sure your charitable donation is going where you want it to go

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Nevada Daily Mail editor

It's the season of giving; people are opening their hearts and opening their wallets all over the country -- especially in Vernon County.

There are several charities in town collecting donations of all sorts for the holidays, or even just to fill a general need. Most of them are bona fide efforts that provide genuine, thoughtful gifts to those facing hardship, and they're great efforts well worth the support of their patrons.

They're generously supported by the community, too.

Most people, too, who benefit from charities or even seek to do so are good people; but "charity shoppers," those who try to benefit as much as they can by soliciting aid from as many agencies as they can, throw a wrench into the works; sometimes, misinformation leads to misgivings as well.

In an effort to make sure as much of the donated goods, or services go to those who need it the most and to prevent duplication of services, charities often screen applicants. Locally, a lot of that screening is handled by Community Outreach. It's true that sometimes people are rejected. sometimes rumors seem to run rampant; that, in turn, can thwart the efforts of charity workers and diminish how much our generous community supports deserving charities. A few such rumors have surfaced this year, as they always do. (I won't go into detail out of a concern that doing so might somehow perpetuate these rumors; but they're out there.)

It's sad when that happens, because when it does the ones who are really hurt are the people who have the greatest need.

So rather than listen to rumors, go straight to the charity. Ask them what they're all about, make sure you're dealing with the charity you intended to support, and ask how much of the funds are actually spent on the needs of the people; ask them if your donation will be spent locally or elsewhere if that's something that helps you make your choices in charitable giving. If you've heard a rumor, ask them about that, too. If it's in your heart to donate, then do so by supporting whatever charity or charities you choose. Just make sure the donation you're giving is going where you want it to go.

It's Christmastime. Listen to your heart, not rumors, and the generosity of our community will once again bring a Merry Christmas to all.