Perhaps the most encouraging news to come from this pandemic has been the way we’ve stepped up to help others.

Since those initial days of the COVID-19 spread, we’ve documented dozens of stories on these pages of how people have gone out of their way to help others. Whether it’s been donating food, making personal protective gear for friends or the medical community or by giving of their time to put a smile on the face of someone who’s stuck inside, Frederick has stepped up.

Now, there’s another opportunity to do so.

Today is Giving Tuesday Now, a global fundraising campaign that encourages people to help others. It’s an off-shoot of the Giving Tuesday campaign, launched eight years ago to champion good deeds, whether that means donating money to a cause or charity, volunteering a few hours to help others or finding some other way to share your blessings with those who need it. That event is held around Thanksgiving each year to support communities and nonprofits. But given the recent events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers are promoting an additional one today.

The hope is “to create a wave of generosity, citizen engagement, action from business and philanthropy, and support for communities and nonprofits around the world,” according to the Giving Tuesday Now website.

The site suggests supporting health care workers by doing things such as donating supplies or supporting small businesses. Or, check in on a neighbor, relative, senior or veteran to see if they’re doing OK. There’s also a volunteer component, encouraging people to pledge time to charities.

We’re pretty sure that there’ll be other reminders as well. Whether it be messages in your email or ideas of where to give on social and traditional media, there’s likely going to be a spotlight on Giving Tuesday Now today. All will have worthy suggestions of ways to share your time and money.

“There has never been a more important time to consider a charitable contribution,” Ken Oldham, president and CEO of the United Way of Frederick County, said Monday. “Due to COVID, your favorite local charity is doing outstanding work most likely without the revenue stream they once had. They need you to keep going.”

Oldham also reminded us that the U.S. Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allows for a universal charitable tax deduction of up to $300 in this current tax year even if one doesn’t itemize. Yet another reason to give right now.

And while it’s not going to get you a tax deduction, we’d ask you to keep in mind local small businesses, particularly those that haven’t been able to stay open at all. It would be a good time to buy a gift card or write an online review.

Since we’re a local newspaper, our bias is going to ask that you give extra attention to local needs. There are plenty of organizations right here that deserve your support. Yet, regardless of what form your help takes, please do what you can.

Over the last couple of months, the Frederick community has responded amazingly to the needs of your neighbors. And we know this support has been appreciated. But if you’re looking for a reason to make your first donation or are fortunate enough to have more to give, you couldn’t pick a better time than right now to take part in an act of kindness. We hope you’ll consider it.

(2) comments

threecents

I never liked the idea of tax deductions for charitable donations.

TomWheatley

There are pros and cons depending one's viewpoint of Government and your trust in its' ability to help out the multiple problems across the County/State/Nation. Let's assume you won the Lottery or have a sizable income, either of which will have a large chunk taken out for taxes. Let's use the amount of $100K given over to taxes. Of those taxes, how much say do you have as to where that money goes? Right, zero input.

Now, same amount of money incoming and you decide to give some to help a local charity, fund a food bank, and in general help your neighbors to the tune of $50K. You write off the $50K and your income might be reduced enough that you only owe $50K more.

In both cases, $100K has disappeared from your bank account, but which scenario leaves you happier about where that money went?

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