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February 04, 2019

14 Ways to Say I Love You This Valentine’s Day

Romantic, creative or extravagant ... it’s on you to find unique Valentine’s Day gifts every February – to come up with new ideas to meet the expectations of your sweetheart. If you’re like most people – male or female – you’re often stumped. or at least you wouldn’t mind a few suggestions (especially cheap Valentine gift Val6ideas).

If you’re open to a new round of fun gifts for your partner, read on. Valentine’s Day is all about showing affection and appreciation to the one you love, but you’re probably interested in saving some money too. Here are 14 inexpensive ways to say “I love you” this Valentine’s Day.

Breakfast in Bed

Begin your morning by cooking your partner a yummy breakfast and serve it up in bed, because it’s one of the easiest ways to say I love you in a practical way. Taste of Home magazine has a list of top-rated breakfast recipes so your Valentine can sample a first-time effort:

• Blueberry French Toast – A Minnesota blueberry grower shared a recipe that one reader said was the best breakfast food she’s ever eaten. The combination of white bread cubes and squares of cream cheese form the base, and a mixture of eggs, milk and syrup are poured over the top. You bake it the next day and serve it with a blueberry sauce.
• True Belgian Waffles – The best thing about Belgian waffles is that you can choose your favorite topping: powdered sugar or whipped cream with fried apples, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or something else.
• Amish Breakfast Casserole – You don’t have to live on the farm to appreciate a hearty breakfast. Taste of Home selected this modified recipe from an Amish Inn for its ease. It has just 7 ingredients including bacon, cheese, Swiss cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, sweet onion and frozen hash browns.
• Fluffy Pancakes – We’ve all made pancakes, but this Virginia family recipe rises to a level above most. The balance of power between the baking powder and salt creates a noticeable fluff factor.
• Oven Denver Omelet – There’s no standing over a hot stove when you bake your omelets. This egg dish comes from Taneytown, Maryland, not Denver, but has the requisite ham, green bell pepper and onions.
• Fruity Baked Oatmeal – If your loved one likes when you put the “sweet” into “sweetheart,” he or she may like a nice, homemade breakfast bar. This winning recipe includes fresh or frozen peaches, blueberries and tart apples sweetened with brown sugar and held together with oats.

Homemade Coupon Book

If you’ve ever received a handmade coupon from your mom, child or a loved one, you know the lasting effect it has for the recipient. Bring back the joy with a custom, updated promise book for your Valentine. Imagine the possibilities – you can fill this book with creative ways to say I love you throughout the year.

Is he active? Every page can offer another challenge. You can plan/register the two of you for:
• Iron Man competition
• Charity obstacle course
• Half Dome ascent
• National Parks tour

Is she a foodie? Consider a home-cooked dinner with delicacies like scallop sashimi, a standing rib roast or pork rillette hand pies. Don’t forget the champagne.Val8

If money’s an issue, you can fill an entire coupon book with free offers. Promise your partner neck massages, foot rubs or washing the car. You can create pages for various chores such as reloading the dishwasher or schlepping the kids to after school activities.

You’d be hard pressed to find cheap Valentine gift ideas to rival this one.

Donate Your Vehicle

The spirit of Valentine’s Day is love, and there’s no better way to express that emotion than by giving. Donating your vehicle through Cars2Charities is a way to send some love to the charity of your choice.

Do you just LOVE your kids’ school? When you donate a car to charity the proceeds can go to the PTA if you choose. If you’ve tried to think of ways to say I love you as a reward for the service of a favorite organization, you can make a car donation to charity and throw them your support.

Most nonprofits rely on gifts in order to survive, and if you don’t have a lot of expendable income to simply write checks, you can transfer the value of a vehicle you don’t need and put money into their programs.

Hide Love Notes

You don’t have to be in elementary school to appreciate messages in your lunch bag. You can strategically place notes in his or her coat pockets or dresser drawers – let them count the ways you love them. In fact, you can start early and brainstorm ways to say I love you and leave a note-a-day with a separate sentiment on each one.

Be Present

Val5When Matt Killingsworth was doing his Ph.D. research at Harvard, he designed an app to gather data on happiness. He determined, among other things, that “a wandering mind is an unhappy mind.”

His conclusion is very simple – we’re typically happier when we’re lost in the moment, and by contrast, when our minds wander, the less happy we can be. If you look around you will find the same statements from such sources as Deepak Chopra, who says that present-moment awareness gives you better control.

Philosophers and psychologists agree that being fully present instead of dwelling on past failures or future expectations will give you better opportunity for connection. But with busy lives, it’s easy to forget that principle.

When it comes to Valentine gift ideas for him or her, aside from expensive jewelry or travel tickets, simply “being completely there” is a good start.

Mail a Letter

Nothing says I love you like an old-fashioned, handwritten letter – to send your significant other either at work or at home. In a world of email, text messaging and voicemail, there’s a certain elegance to the effort of the snail mail system.

And talk about cheap Valentine gift ideas! All you need is a pen, paper, an envelope and a stamp. You do need some forethought, of course, because it can take a few days for delivery.

As an extra fun idea, you can forego the roll of flag stamps and order a special one. The Post Office considers postage stamps miniature works of art and is always rolling out new designs. “From legendary poet Walt Whitman to the entertainment genius of Gregory Hines to the majestic beauty of our Wild and Scenic Rivers, this program is diverse and wide ranging and tells America’s story on stamps,” said U.S. Postal Service Stamp Services Executive Director Mary-Anne Penner.

It's a way to customize fun gifts for your partner, whether you mail cards or letters. If he or she is a musician you can buy the Marvin Gaye stamp or the one commemorating the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. Is your beloved a veteran? How about the USS Missouri stamp? Or you can always celebrate the holiday with the Hearts Blossom stamp.

Make a Book

If you’ve ever created a gift on Shutterfly, you know it’s quick, easy and high in quality. Do you have beaucoup photos of your significant other? If so, put them together and create a book: about the moment you knew you were in love, or a page for each year you’ve been together. You can add on to this keepsake every Valentine’s Day. There are numerous other customized items you can buy, such as a photo blanket or a mouse pad.

Celebrate a Day Later

You love them all year long, right? Celebrating this holiday later than the rest of the crowd means half-priced chocolate and discounted flowers.

And when Valentine’s Day lands midweek, you have to race home early to get up for work. Imagine the possibilities if you shelf it for a Friday or Saturday night!

Have a Picnic on the Floor

What’s better than an expensive dinner? A cheap, tasty dinner in the comfort of your own home, starting with takeout from your favorite restaurant. Next, cover your living room with blankets, pillows and battery-operated candles, put some


tunes on and you’ve got a great evening ahead of you. 

If you want to throw in a couple of bucks, you can add Valentine gifts for him or her to punctuate the occasion.

Homemade Treats

A lot of the best Valentine’s Day gifts are expensive if you buy them retail, but they’re cheap Valentine gift ideas if you make them yourself. For instance, chocolate covered strawberries are a classic Valentine’s Day treat. If you order them from Shari’s Berries you pay $29 plus shipping for just 6 of them. But if you purchase fresh strawberries (about $5) and chocolate for melting and dipping (about $5) you come out WAY ahead. 


Bringing home a dozen roses is the classic Valentine’s Day surprise, but they tend to be expensive and are thrown away after a week. Houseplants bring color and life into the house all year long, with different types offering various benefits, like air purifying plants or stress-relieving plants. 

If your significant other has trouble keeping anything green alive, Good Housekeeping has some suggested plants for you.

• Chinese Money plants survive fine in shade and only need watering once a week.
• A yucca plant, by contrast, likes sunshine. It needs very little water – great for anyone who’s forgetful.
• African violets win the popularity contest. It has beautiful blooms and thrives in indirect light.
• An air plant can survive without any dirt, but it needs water. Ideally, you set it in water for 3-4 hours every week and a half.

Give the Gift of Music

Because it’s the thought that counts, taking the time to create something special for your Valentine is a way to say I love you. If his car has a CD player, you can burn him a playlist of his favorite songs. Or you can download a series of romantic music on his device.

If you’re the one who typically sets the mood in the house, you can create a playlist that includes all your favorite love songs. Then determine just the right time to hit the remote control to blast it on the speakers.

Poker Night

Do you like to play games? Step away from your screens and pull out a board game. New games can be fun gifts for your partner, but even an old faithful can make for some friendly competition. If all you have is cards, play a romantic round of poker.

You don’t have to bet money and it doesn’t even have to get X-rated. Set rules, such as loser has to do laundry for the week or the winner gets a neck massage!

Volunteer for a Charity

What are your favorite nonprofits? Let the generosity of volunteerism be an outcropping of the level of love you share. It’s a way to spread the love to those VAl10who need it, which gives you both some satisfaction while offering practical help.

Think outside the box of chocolates this year. There are choices that save money, score points for creativity and choose many ways to say I love you to your Valentine this year.

January 21, 2019

The Search for Children’s Charities that Earn Your Donation Dollar

Looking for a Children’s Charity to donate to? Do your research.

As a company that interfaces with literally thousands of charities, we’ve seen various methods for choosing nonprofits to receive proceeds from car donations to children’s charities. The good news is that you have total freedom of choice – you children1can benefit any cause, as long as it’s a bona fide 501(c)(3).

If you need help choosing a cause, there are easy ways to find one worthy of your hard-earned contribution.

One of the best ways to select an organization to receive your donation is by consulting CharityWatch, which is itself a nonprofit. Created as the American Institute of Philanthropy, the staff members conduct research on charities and publish findings, as well as contribute to articles distributed in various media as a service to the public. https://www.charitywatch.org/top-rated-charities

On the CharityWatch website you can search nonprofit groups by name or search an area or a category, such as animal rescues, veterans or local children’s charities, etc.

The criteria used by CharityWatch for grading each nonprofit requires hard work by staff members. Analysts do deep research into each of the charities, looking at their finances, including audited tax forms, reports and government documents. Each nonprofit gets a grade of A+ through F.

To create the scores, Charity Watch looks at a couple of categories of criterion. An important one is the examination by researchers of money spent on programs. This score reveals the percentage of gross receipts that goes straight to the charity’s programming. The remaining percentage is the total spent on overhead, including management and fundraising efforts.

The organization also looks at the cost to raise $100: This is the amount a charity pays out in the process of fundraising $100. A charity is considered “highly efficient” if it spends $25 or less to raise $100 and at least 75% or more goes directly to the charity’s program.

Another part of the process that makes the CharityWatch score stand out in itschildren2detailed analysis is that their researchers analyze expenses to include contributions, not just total revenue. The mission of CharityWatch, to publish accurate statistics, is for the benefit of donors, to help them locate worthy recipients – nonprofits with high standards.

Groups included on the CharityWatch Top-Rated List:
• Don’t hold excessive assets in reserve
• Have met CharityWatch's governance benchmarks
• Openly disclose basic financial information with a great deal of transparency.

Attorney General Website
One of the jobs of the state attorney general is to monitor charity actions, making sure regulations are being followed, and therefore, donors’ interests are protected. This governmental entity oversees charitable assets to make sure they aren’t misapplied. https://oag.ca.gov/charities

The office has two main elements:
• The Charitable Trusts Section has a team of auditors and lawyers who bring legal action against any nonprofit or fundraiser that misuses money from donors or engages in fraud.
• The Registry of Charitable Trusts contains information from each nonprofit in the state, which are all required to register. Charity raffles are also required to register and file a report annually.

The State Attorney General website has a “Guide for Charities” you can refer to for more information. And there’s a webinar to further punctuate the contents of the guide. It’s also available on the Department of Justice website.

You can look up particular charities to see government research and confirm their validity using the Registry Verification Search tool on the Attorney General website: http://rct.doj.ca.gov/Verification/Web/Search.aspx?facility=Y

Identifying a Cause

Once you’ve determined you’d like to make a donation – either cash, creating a trust for down the line, or donate a car to charity – you begin the process of narrowing down a cause you feel passionate about.

children4When searching for the best children’s charities, you have a tremendous number of choices. Your own experiences may affect the type of nonprofit you choose to support.

Adults who suffered from childhood illnesses often feel called to support a medical charity, because they’re empathetic to the burden on families, or they want to see more research go to a particular field of medicine. Members of the nonprofit Adult Survivors of Child Abuse may choose to donate to an organization that supports the emotional needs of kids, such as the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

Children who are hungry

Approximately 20% of homes with children in the U.S. are experiencing what’s called “food insecurity,” according to DoSomething.org, a global campaign to do good. That means they lack access, at least some of the time, to enough food for everyone in the household. 

There’s food insecurity in every county in the United States and 49 million individuals have trouble earning enough money to feed the family.

And that’s just in America.

One of the most reputable children’s charities addressing the problem of kids without enough to eat is Food for the Hungry, a nonprofit organization centered on reducing poverty as a solution. The mission of the charity is to end all forms of human poverty, which is fueled by Christian principles and furthered through providing physical relief in more than 20 countries. 

“It’s our responsibility to advocate for the poor and marginalized without any regard to race, creed or nationality and without adverse distinction of any kind,” the website says. “We serve on the basis of need alone. We strive to respect the culture and customs of the people we serve in order to preserve their humanity and dignity.”

Staffed by individuals who are citizens of the nations they serve, the charity’s workers bring clean water, food, medical services and educational opportunities to both boys and girls, empowering young people to help them overcome cultural challenges. Setting them apart from other children’s charities, Food for the Hungry treats their clients holistically – seeking to meet a range of needs and lighten the burdens shouldered by these international children.

Supporting Food for the Hungry is contributing resources to areas that grow in sustainability, where they no longer need help once structures are in place. Members of these communities gain a spiritual center while also rising above poverty level.

Children who need clothing

Underprivileged kids in Southern California have a friend in Felicia Killian, who wanted to provide clothing and shoes for them, which she did when she launched Younited Hearts. A faith-based children’s charity, the nonprofit brings together individuals who demonstrate compassion by collecting clothing for kids, homeless families, veterans and victims of human trafficking.

It has grown to include chapters in Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, Coachella and other areas. Younited Hearts seeks to enrich the lives of the financially challenged by redistributing clothing – which seems simple, but can be an important component in the life of an American child.

Anyone can contribute by donating clothes or school supplies to Younited Hearts to exhibit Christian generosity to low-income families. It’s something most Americans have – an excessive wardrobe – and is a more personal gesture than writing a check.

Children who have cancer

The nonprofit Wishers and Dreamers was formed by two sisters – adult women who saw firsthand the suffering endured by children who are victims of cancer. Over the two years that Trish Stuber was battling breast cancer, she and her sister, Pamela Babek, crossed paths with a lot of others struggling with serious illnesses. Among the most needy were children with cancer diagnoses.

They formed Wishers and Dreamers in 2013, hoping to comfort these kids and to bring some happiness to them in the midst of hardship. The name of the nonprofit was taken from the nicknames the sisters had for each other when they were growing up (and still use).

Donations to Wishers and Dreamers provides a hospital gown for a sick child’s dollchildren3or bear, which the founders, their friends and family members sew by hand. The charity has sent thousands of gowns to kids all over the world.

The organization has 4 sponsorship packages:
• Twinkle Sponsorship – covers the cost of material, sewing and shipping for 100 gowns
• Dream Sponsorship – covers the cost of material, sewing and shipping for 250 gowns
• Wish Sponsorship – covers the cost of material, sewing and shipping for 500 gowns
• Star Sponsorship – covers the cost of material, sewing and shipping for 1,000 gowns

For many children with cancer or other serious disease or condition, their little bear, doll or buddy provides them with more comfort than nearly anything else. The handmade gowns can give them courage or be used as a teaching tool.

Donate a car to children’s charities

There are limits to how many checks we can write to nonprofit groups each year. For many of us, we are giving a lot of time to charity already – through our kids’ schools, for a place of worship, or maybe through membership in a service organization or club.

At times, we have the means to support something we care about, such as local children’s charities, but we don’t realize it. Donating cars for kids offers something we own that has value – but without the hassle of liquidating the car ourselves and minus the money physically changing hands.

Imagine the car you were already thinking of replacing providing comfort for a child battling leukemia or juvenile diabetes? The power to heal is sometimes in your hands, which is made easier when you have a resource to take control of the transaction for you.

It’s what we do at Cars2Charities. 

If you’re “going green” and getting an electric or hybrid vehicle, you can donate a car to Younited Hearts and turn the gas guzzler into a gift for underprivileged individuals. Imagine how many gently used outfits your old car could purchase!

Or what about using the value of the car you no longer need to provide food for the hungry? Perhaps you need a more reliable set of wheels for your work or to carpool your own kids. If you think about it, you can benefit your own children while you help others across the world who need clean water and fresh food.

A car donation to Food for the Hungry does just that.

Just as there are many 501(c)(3) organizations you can support, there are many ways to do it. You can search your heart for the place you’re most passionate. Which nonprofit personally tugs at your heartstrings?

Then you can consider how many options you have to support that group. The win-win from a car donation to children’s’ charities can’t be overstated. When you have a vehicle you need to sell, trade in or give away, it’s a hassle. Through Cars2Charities you have zero work to do!

children5You can make a simple call or donate online and your car is picked up and the paperwork completed. You collect the tax write-off and your favorite charity receives a check.

Children are society’s most valuable resource, and it’s rare to find a person who doesn’t want to benefit them in any way possible. They just need to know there’s a path where they can do that, and it’s not as difficult as they imagined.

There are many prospects when you want to donate to children’s charities. And each nonprofit group can be researched and their process explained to you by reaching out to them.

January 13, 2019

Benefiting Pediatric Patients by Donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation

By donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation, philanthropists and other generous individuals are supporting programs in more than 250 hospitals across CLeuk1the United States.

Founded in 1992, the Foundation announced its mission – to create programs for kids with cancer that enables young patients to have fun and increase their self-esteem. Utilizing various strategies, the nonprofit organization seeks to educate and empower youngsters under the age of 21 who are living with serious illnesses.

Children’s hospital donations sometimes go to the CLF program “Hugs U Wear.”

Donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation supports the many programs operated by the nonprofit, including Hugs U Wear, which provides wigs to pediatric patients who have lost their hair.

Most of us can imagine the fear and embarrassment associated with witnessing your hair falling out in clumps, a by-product of chemotherapy that a lot of children with cancer have to endure. An article in Kids Health explains the process of hair loss, which is a condition that occurs because the treatment interrupts the normal rate of hair growth. At the same time the chemotherapy is disturbing the division of cancer cells it also temporarily damages the cells in hair follicles. 

Also called alopecia, a patient’s hair loss can be minimal – just thinning – to severe, which means the harsh treatment leaves them completely bald. It’s usually temporary and sometimes hair regrows during the course of treatment. Hair loss can occur more than once, however, and it may or may not include other body hair such as eyelashes and eyebrows.

The negative feelings associated with this experience are sometimes what fuels donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation Hugs U Wear program. It offers patients custom wigs made of 100% human hair as a gift for children suffering from a loss of self-esteem when they lose their hair due to treatment. The wigs have detachable hats for kids who want to top their hair with a fashion accessory.

Children want to fit in, and the pain of being different just adds to the burden of fighting a life-threatening illness. Donations to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation have provided thousands of wigs to pediatric patients in the hope that it adds some normalcy to their trying situation.

Donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation provides a basket of gifts to each pediatric patient.

When we donate to children’s charities, most of us want the money to go directly to the comfort of kids and their families. The Childhood Leukemia Foundation’s “Wish Basket” program is dedicated to improving the outlook for kids with cancer, 

CLeuk4a distraction from the seriousness of illness. When kids are hospitalized, a Wish Basket is delivered to them, which contains age-appropriate gift items that are designed to help improve and maintain the skill sets necessary for continued development. Each of the items serve to do more than just comfort the patient – they offer challenging and engaging recreation for lengthy hospital stays associated with cancer treatment.

Seeing the effect of the Wish Basket program on young cancer patients is one of the benefits of donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation. After a grueling spinal tap or chemotherapy treatment, patients typically need their spirits lifted, which is the aim of these gifts. In addition to items that promote cognitive thinking and comfort during their hospital stay, the baskets also include a $75 gift card so they can purchase another wish item on their own.

The “Hope Binder” is another program you support by donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation.

Some children’s hospital donations serve practical purposes not necessarily related to the health of the child. And in the case of pediatric cancers, families need other kinds of assistance. The Foundation’s Hope Binder program offers parents or other caregivers an organizational tool to keep track and prioritize the burdensome medical information they receive throughout the treatment period.

Sorting the overwhelming number of documents given to them, plus keeping track of costs associated with their child’s treatment can become less difficult with the help of a Hope Binder. There are pointers for keeping track of medical appointments, nutrition recommendations, insurance benefits, medicines, etc. It’s a tool that provides some feeling of control, which grants peace of mind to those caring for a child with cancer.

Donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation helps purchase technological support for pediatric patients.

“Keeping Kids Connected” is a program where children in the hospital receive iPads so they can communicate more easily with friends, family and school personnel. Not only does it serve a practical purpose – to increase connection – it’s another form of distraction from the grueling, often painful, experience of battling a life-threatening disease.

By providing laptops or iPads to pediatric patients, the Childhood Leukemia Foundation’s Keeping Kids Connected program addresses more than social connection. Kids Health has an article discussing the importance of academics for school-age kids with serious illnesses, because balancing treatment and academics can be a pretty big challenge.

CLeuk3“Not only does staying connected to school bring academic, cognitive, psychological, and social benefits — it's also your child's legal right,” the article says. “Kids with chronic or life-threatening illness and/or disabilities are entitled to educational support.”

Still, the healing process takes precedence. While academic isolation is a downside, the social isolation is possibly harder for a child. “When an illness means an extended absence from school, kids can feel that their classmates and teachers have forgotten about them. This can lead to depression, as well as anxiety, about returning to the classroom,” the article says. “Maintaining ties with classmates and teachers can help your child retain a sense of normalcy during this difficult time. Your child might even be able to Skype or FaceTime into a lesson at school over the computer.”

The best charities to donate to are those that offer a range of resources for kids with cancer.

The Childhood Leukemia Foundation has an ongoing blog with tips and information to benefit parents of pediatric patients. An article on the charity’s website entitled “Can We Talk?” addresses the challenges of communicating with medical professionals, such as an oncologist or surgeon. It includes a list of suggestions to improve the quality of a parent and child’s interaction with their health providers: 

• Be your child’s best healthcare advocate. As a caregiver, you need to educate yourself so you know you’re making the best, most informed decisions. Ask questions and let the answers sink in. With an increase in understanding you will gain confidence in your decision-making.

• Bring someone else to appointments. It’s helpful to have support, and another set of ears to metabolize what your doctor says. Remembering details can be really challenging.

• Prepare your questions in advance. Be sure to ask specific questions and be brief, as most doctors have limited time. It’s another good reason to ask your most important questions first.

• Write down the doctor's answers. If you take notes you can more easily remember your doctor's responses and instructions. Go over the information later when you have more time to give it your complete attention and continue your research.

• Use your phone and record your visit with the physician. Specific instructions are there for you to revisit and confirm. You can also share it with family members or friends to obtain feedback.

The article also has suggestions for questions you should run past your health professionals regarding your child’s treatment.

• What are the options for treatment?

• What treatment is recommended?

• How often is the treatment?

• What are the possible side effects?

• What are the risks and benefits?

• What is the total cost? 

There are many ways to donate to children’s charities through the Childhood Leukemia Foundation.

The Childhood Leukemia Foundation will accept donations by mail, online or in person, but giving can be set up in several different donation formats.

Make a Monthly Donation

You can lock in a regular total donation through the charity’s website. For just $15CLeuk5per month you can be a member of the Circle of Smiles. You get the satisfaction every 30 days that you’re sharing your resources with someone who needs care, knowing that even the smallest amount makes a big difference.

It’s a way to be a part of a successful program without having a lot of administrative work to do. And you can make children’s hospital donations in your name or someone else’s, as a form of honor for a retired teacher, neighbor or grandparent, for example. It may be a birthday present or a way to honor someone’s anniversary, or other special occasion.

Planned Gift Donation

When you draft your will, there are many options for giving to a nonprofit entity. Donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation is made easier with the more than 25 years the charity has been processing such gifts. It’s ideal to prepare a will while you’re young and healthy, though it’s not always possible. You can give to Childhood Leukemia Foundation in your will or during your lifetime, but either way, the advantage of making those decisions today is the enjoyment you can get from watching the fruit of your labor which, in this case, is happy kids who are in a stressful situation.

You probably know that donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation or any other 501(c)(3) is tax-deductible. But in addition, you’ll want to know the tax implications of a planned donation in your estate at the event of your death. It may also help to reduce federal estate and gift taxes significantly. Gifts made to Childhood Leukemia Foundation are exempt from gift tax. 

Combined Federal Campaign

Your company can support the Childhood Leukemia Foundation by working with the largest, most successful annual workplace campaign for charity in the United States. The Combined Federal Campaign seeks to support philanthropies by creating cost-efficient, employee-focused giving opportunities.

With more than 200 CFC campaigns across the United States – nationally and internationally – the Combined Federal Campaign has helped raise millions of dollars each year.

Employers can choose to participate in a matching gifts program to maximize the benefit of each employee's charitable contributions. Check with your company's human resources department for further details. You can also contact the Childhood Leukemia Foundation to learn more, as well. Email contact@clf4kids.org.

If you are a business owner interested in donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation, you may choose to activate employee Matching Gift paperwork directly to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation at this address: 807 Mantoloking Road, Suite 202 in Brick, New Jersey.

Vehicle Donation

When you get to the point when you’re ready to purchase a new vehicle, you can donate a car to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation through Cars2Charities. 

The partnership with Cars2Charities means you can make a donation to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation without using cash you have in your savings or investments. It parlays the value of the car you don’t need into a form of comfort and happiness for kids with cancer.

It's easy to forget that there's value in a car, truck or other vehicle, just because we no longer find it useful. And dealer trade-ins only grant the owner a small portion of its worth. But a donation to children's charities, as long as it's a nonprofit, gets you a tax write-off for its full resale value.

CLeuk2You can donate a car to charity and designate the proceeds to a special aspect of the program. Donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation in someone else’s honor, for a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion, is also possible.

There are other suggestions for supporting the cause by tapping into opportunities to donate to children’s hospitals. And if one of the CLF programs resonates with you, it’s always an option to choose any one of the formats listed for donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation.

December 31, 2018

Worthy Options to Make a Difference When You Donate to Children

Seeing the good work of others can inspire you to donate to children and help relieve suffering, provide healing or bring comfort to hurting kids and their families. Nonprofit organizations that raise revenue and provide manpower to further their 48391208 755038714869359 5086386505723674624 omissions are worthy of our attention and support.


SocialGood Fund is a powerful nonprofit force in developing projects that support individuals, local communities, and the environment. It offers sponsorships, fiscal support, and fundraising tools to aspiring leaders, which fuels humanitarian causes throughout the country. With the proper fiscal backing through such agencies as SocialGood Fund, individuals are able to pursue their dreams of benefiting others. 


This organization is a lifeline to some of the best charities to donate to, including Chat with Champs, a 501(c)(3) providing walkie talkies to children with cancer in order to minimize the feeling that they are suffering alone. These little “champions” are inspiring to even healthy adults, showing strength and hope that sometimes seems unimaginable. 


Chat with Champs enables individuals to donate to children with serious illnesses.


When 10-year-old Sarah Loza was enduring treatment for stage 4 cancer at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, she was so generous of spirit that she developed a plan to help others who were also in pain. While Sarah’s treatment frequently involved periods of isolation to protect her from infection, the loneliness did not hold her back. In fact, it was one of Rady’s programs that helped to dispel the feelings of isolation that gave her an idea that would lift the spirits of other patients. Rady had a weekly Bingo game where pediatric patients were able to play by hearing the numbers through walkie talkies.


Sarah’s idea was “Chat with Champs,” which is a program to help children connect with each other during their cancer treatments by providing them with walkie talkies. This outreach program strives to never let kids and their families feel alone while fighting cancer.36087514 618340198539212 2723891885738295296 o


Chat with Champs helps kids going through cancer treatments by connecting them with a champ. Most kids are hospitalized for weeks and too weak to get out of their rooms, while others will be placed in isolation due to fevers or infections. Some are left alone when both parents are forced to return to work.


No child should fight cancer alone, so anything that contributes to connectivity with others helps to counteract the emotional toll on the kids. The goal of Chat with Champs is to expand the walkie talkie program to include more pediatric hematology-oncology hospitals and spread joy in a time when kids feel isolated, alone and trapped. Their mission is to improve the quality of life of the communities’ cancer warriors, and to bring a level of hope and support to families affected by pediatric cancer.


Efforts to help kids with cancer by minimizing emotional stress are ongoing.


The average age that children are diagnosed with cancer is 6 years old, says CureSearch, a nonprofit foundation that seeks to accelerate the search for cures to childhood cancers. There are 43 children a day diagnosed with cancer, but the good news is that 7 out of 8 kids battling cancer will have the treatment needed to survive, thanks to those who donate to children by supporting such programs as Chat with Champs.


34419182 601861633520402 6109526386546835456 nSome of the things that need funding include more expedient medical research and the need for safer, more comfortable treatments for children fighting acute illnesses. The medical community needs more teams of people providing resources and education to lessen the suffering of kids enduring cancer and its treatment programs.


Cancer is the number one cause of death by disease in American children. There is no difference in frequency of cancer between ethnic, economic or gender. The cause also brings together people from every walk of life who seek out the best charities to donate to.


Every year, more than 40,000 kids are receiving treatment for cancer. The range of cancers affecting children include – in order of prevalence:
Brain and central nervous system
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Wilms tumor
Bone tumors
Hodgkin Disease
Thyroid carcinoma
Germ cell tumors


It’s nearly impossible to prevent childhood cancer, says the CureSearch site in an article talking about the challenge of anxiety for pediatric cancer patients.


Treatment side effects sometimes include:
Appetite problems
Low platelet count
Low red blood cell count (anemia)
Low white blood cell count (neutropenia)
Mouth sores and dry mouth
Nausea and vomiting
Skin changes
Weight gain or weight loss


Children respond to painful procedures in many different ways, and for parents it can be very difficult to watch their child in the midst of fear and pain. Even though these procedures are necessary for fighting cancer, the child may not understand, because it’s hard to see how something is good for you when it also causes you pain. Helping your child get ready for procedures can make them easier to deal with.


It’s a good idea to prepare a child for medical procedures, including strategies for handling pain and providing them with coping skills. Though practitioners cannot completely eliminate pain in most situations, there are some basic steps you can take to ease pain. It is also helpful to talk with your child’s doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers or pain specialists (if available in your hospital).31317790 583770695329496 1670615838601773056 o


Physical Pain

Because pain is subjective — in other words, it’s experienced differently by different people – to gauge the level of pain someone is in you need to talk to them and observe their actions. Since parents know their child best, doctors rely on their feedback to help them understand the child’s pain.


All pain has three parts: biology, emotions and thoughts. They’re intertwined, so feeling nervous, scared or anxious has a strong bearing on how you experience a painful circumstance.


Pain is worsened by negative emotion. You may have observed how young children tend to get fussy as a simple reaction, like the screams from a toddler due to discomfort when she falls down, but it changes in an instant to a complete recovery. With intensive medical treatments, a child may be reacting to the dread of a procedure rather than the physical pain he/she is enduring. Feeling scared and paying attention to the pain makes a big difference in how we experience it.


Even healthy adults tend to feel scared or nervous before a medical procedure or any other big event. Professional athletes or performers can experience painful waves of anxiety, even though they’re good at what they do and have rehearsed it thousands of times. They have to learn how to manage their feelings so that they can perform well under pressure.


Have you ever noticed how a professional basketball player takes a big breath when standing on the foul line ready to take a free throw shot?


Parents of a pediatric patient can help their child feel more calm by using methods that the little one finds soothing, such as music or reading. And even more importantly, parents and family members need to stay calm themselves. Because young people read body language, they can see someone grimace when a needle disappears into their arm or they are connected to a machine. Also, when you’re the parent of a patient, staying cool and calm shows that you believe they can handle it.


CureSearch offers other tips you can share with a seriously ill child who’s undergoing a procedure:

• Breathe slowly. We tend to breathe fast and our hearts race when we panic, so you can calm yourself by attempting to slow your breathing. Sharing this tip with a sick child also helps to shift his/her focus onto something besides the procedure – they are thinking about breathing instead of their pain.

• Hold your hand still and make it relax. It’s like giving the child a job. When you ask pediatric patients to find a comfortable place for their hands, which may mean the edge of the bed or a chair, their focus is shifted once again. If the little one’s hand is shaky, you can rest yours on top of it to aid in relaxation. It’s hard to be scared when your hands are calm and relaxed, and sometimes it causes you to slow your breathing also. The child can employ this exercise anywhere and anytime without anyone even noticing, which makes it useful at school to use before tests or presentations.


Before a procedure even begins, sometimes it’s just thinking about how much it’s going to hurt that contributes to a child’s anxiety and, therefore, increasing the pain. During the procedure as well, paying a lot of attention to the pain while watching what is happening can make the pain worse. Here are some ideas to help your child manage his/her thoughts and attention to pain:

• Think about something else. If the child is worrying about the procedure, talk about other things or read a book or magazine, tell stories or sing songs.

• Distraction. An extension of the previous tip, when you find a more engaging focus for the child’s attention, such as a toy, a video, bubbles, etc., it can take him/her away from the pain of the procedure. The best activities for distraction are simple, appealing and require a response so you can easily see if the patient needs more encouragement. Obviously, the activity can’t interfere with the medical procedure (so things that require a lot of action are not good for keeping children still during the procedure). For older children, letting them choose favorite music, magazines, videos or apps can be helpful.

• Go to a happy place. Coach your child to use his/her imagination and pretend to be in a favorite place. The child should relax, breathe slowly, close the eyes and imagine seeing, hearing and feeling something familiar and comforting.

You can join the effort when you donate to children through Chat with Champs.

32873697 594175244289041 6937846679672455168 oChat with Champs began a fundraising campaign and their goal is to raise $20,000 by January 2020. They have currently raised $2,122 to provide patients with walkie talkies. Imagine what more they can do with added support! 


And if you don’t want to pull out a checkbook, you can, of course, make a car donation to Chat with Champs. We don’t always remember that even a vehicle we no longer need has value.


If you’ve been thinking of downsizing to a sedan instead of a gas-guzzling SUV for instance, or investing in a hybrid, you have the opportunity to contribute to the comfort of kids. It’s kind of an irony where everybody wins: You gain the comfort of a car with better features, such as climate control and accident avoidance, with better wi-fi connectivity, while children in isolation get better connected with others and gain the comfort of community.


Of course, a tax write-off is one of the advantages of car donation to charity as well. It’s a really no-fuss method of supporting the cause of kids with cancer, and it requires virtually no effort by you. To make a car, truck or SUV donation to Chat with Champs through Cars2Charities, click here

Through SocialGood Fund you can donate to children’s charities and other causes.

The tax benefit an individual gets from supporting Chat with Champs is issued through the nonprofit SocialGood Fund. The 501(c)(3) organization provides fiscal sponsorship of various humanitarian efforts by impacting aspects on several fronts, including:

Administrative back-office support
Bookkeeping and accounting
Human resources


Of course, there are many charities you can donate to. But whether you become a part of their program through direct giving or when you donate a car to charity, usc verdugofiscal sponsorship is a format for bringing the vision of the pursuits of individuals to life. The social mission of the nonprofit is to promote and cultivate positive influences, which means for various purposes and projects, such as social justice, public art or social change, SocialGood Fund steps in to provide support.


It’s an organization aimed at helping new charitable efforts get started and further their causes. What makes the nonprofit a leader in the field of humanitarian sponsorship is how broadly it sows, in addition to its low administrative costs.


When you support the nonprofit and donate to children, you are impacting their endeavors, such as giving hope to kids with cancer and sharing in the mission of those who seek to make the world a better place.

December 22, 2018

Find Out How to Save Money on Taxes

It’s that time of year again – when we all start the search for how to save money on taxes. There’s no threat of filing late ... yet. But the process all money 2696234 640Americans go through in the first few months of the year – has a history that began over 100 years ago.


In the beginning there was no tax deduction list.


It all started way before our time, according to an article on the IRS website. From the beginning of our nation – 1776 until 1802 – Americans paid few taxes. Mostly the government received funding through taxes on goods such as sugar, liquor, carriages and tobacco, and another sales tax was instituted during the War of 1812 to offset costs of fighting the British. 


During the Civil War, there was an office of Commissioner of Internal Revenue established and income tax was instituted by Congress in 1862. Nothing like our system today, only employees with an annual income between $600 and $10,000 paid taxes – at a rate of just 3% – plus those with earnings above $10,000 paid taxes at a higher rate. If citizens didn’t pay the taxes, the Commissioner could seize assets, including income or property.


Income taxes got closer to what we do currently, where we pay attention to things like charitable donations tax deductions and look for how to save money on taxes in other ways, when it became a permanent system in 1913. The 16th Amendment enabled Congress to assess taxes based on the incomes of residents and corporations. The annual tax collection totaled more than $1 billion by 1918, and two years later it exceeded $5 billion.


When Ronald Reagan was president there were changes made to the tax code. The Tax Reform Act reduced taxation of individuals and increased the burden on businesses. President George W. Bush made one of the biggest tax cuts in our country’s history in 2001. It created a low-income tax rate of 10% and increased the tax credit for children, plus made adjustments to the tax structure for married couples.


The laws are constantly changing, which makes it challenging for the average citizen to maintain a full awareness of the tax structure such as the current charity tax deduction. But even as April 15 comes near and we don’t feel we’ve done all we could in the last calendar year, there are experts we can turn to for help with our charitable donations.


There are many tax preparation services to help you with your tax deductions.


If you’re the DIY type, you may be a Turbo Tax “regular.” First developed in the 1980s by Michael A. Chipman of ChipSoft, Turbo Tax became a hugely successful fintech company, acquired by Intuit a decade later.


It’s definitely the route a lot of savvy taxpayers choose who know how to save money on taxes. You need to re-purchase the online software each year. And while mailed-in paper tax returns take about 6 to 8 weeks to process (once the IRS gets your return), e-filed tax returns typically get processed within 21 days. So, it’s a much better prospect, as far as speed goes!


calculator 1680905 640

TaxACT offers a range of online products to calculate your own taxes. So if you're a college grad who's new to the process or a grandparent who knows the ropes, you have options.

There’s a basic service that’s free, and several other levels:
• Basic costs $9.95 and covers individuals filing who have dependents and college expenses, etc.
• Deluxe is a $29.95 option and includes homeowners, those with deductions, credits and adjustments.
• Premier costs $34.95 and is designed for filers with rental properties or other investments and offers prioritized support.
• Self-Employed service is the most expensive, at $49.95, and has a “deduction maximizer” with tax resources for the user year-round.


TaxAct guarantees 100% accuracy in your tax return and backs that promise with $100,000.


But, do you sometimes feel you need a tax deduction guide? Many do.


There are sources who know how to save money on taxes and are trained to counsel clients in the best decisions toward that goal.


H&R Block is one of the best-known tax preparation companies in the country, having been in the business since 1955. Brothers Henry and Richard Bloch founded the powerhouse, which is run in various communities by franchisees.


That local ownership has contributed to the company's reputation for serving families from generation to generation.


In addition to offering tax filing help, H&R Block has courses you can take so you can become a tax preparation pro too. There are several tax tools on the website, plus a number of levels of tax filing assistance. They range from free filing to self-employed online tax filing, plus in-office appointments are also available.


Any of those options can help you with the charity tax deduction aspect. You should be able to find the right formula for how to save money on taxes – with a little help from your friends.


Tax deductible donations are available for every type of taxpayer.


We all know tax deductions are good, but we may not truly understand how they work. And in order to find out how to save money on taxes, we need to know where and when they’re applicable.


Tax deductible donations lower a person’s taxable income. You begin with the total gross income and apply each of your deductions, which are defined as certain expenses that subtract from that total.




The money used to purchase both required coursework materials (books, computer software, etc.) and non-required materials (notebooks, backpacks, pens) may be eligible as tax deductible items.


Of course, regulations change, which is why you need to either pay attention to small print or hire a professional who knows how to save money on taxes to prepare you for filing.


graduation 2038864 640You can gain a benefit known as the Lifetime Learning Credit, which is a tax deduction with some particular elements. This applies to you if:

• You pay qualified expenses for higher education
• You pay the expenses
• You are the student, the spouse of the student, or the parent of the dependent you file for




Teaching professionals can deduct up to $250 of unreimbursed expenditures from the purchase of classroom materials. Examples of items that can be deducted include books, stationery supplies, professional development merchandise and computer software.




If you pay for most of your kids’ living expenses, children may be listed as dependents on your tax return. If you’re financially supporting them, you may be eligible for up to $4,000 in exemptions for your taxable income.


Other articles used by parents, including breastfeeding equipment and supplies, may be used to exceed the 10% medical deduction thresholds.


Believe it or not, there are actually circumstances where you can write off payments to a babysitter. The federal tax court explains that you can list babysitting services as a charitable contribution only if you needed childcare while

brothers 457234 640

performing volunteer work.


Health Insurance


Last year, if you completed a form with itemized deductions, you could deduct as much as 10% of your income. But if you are self-employed, you may be able to deduct up to 100%. Again, check to see if these regulations have changed.


Charitable giving equals receiving – a tax benefit.


Though consumers may joke about real money being obsolete, most 501(c)(3) charities accept cash donations. Some financial planning experts suggest operating with a budget that takes a fixed amount of your paycheck out for charity giving first – before proceeding with bill paying.


It might sound crazy to carve charitable donations tax deductions into your budget – and to take that right off the top – but it’s a financial modus operandi that’s a part of some popular programs.


Personal finance guru Dave Ramsey suggests the Judeo-Christian “tithing process,” where 10% comes out of your gross income, designated for a nonprofit, such as a place of worship. He is world-renowned for offering instruction in how to save money on taxes and in every other aspect of the budgeting process.


To those who feel it’s an impossible task to not have access to all of your take-home income, Ramsey poses the question – “If you cannot live off 90% of what you make, what makes you think you can live off 100%?”


His precepts have been outlined in seven best-selling books, including “The Total Money Makeover” and “Financial Peace.” medical 3447369 640He largely advises individuals who have found themselves in a financial crisis due to medical bills or other unforeseen expenses.


One of the biggest goals of his program is to encourage individuals and couples to become debt-free, which then makes it more possible for them to make tax deductible donations.


Ramsey has “7 Baby Steps to Financial Freedom,” and the final step is “Build Wealth and Give” which he points out is the most fun stage in the process. Charitable giving isn’t about moving money, he says. It’s the realization that others are less fortunate and the importance of developing a desire to help them.


Ramsey has a blog talking about the vast financial loss to Americans when they don’t take advantage of the tax credit they’re allowed. He says that 2 million American taxpayers overpay the IRS every year, totaling a billion dollars. The finance expert says that 27% of taxpayers fail to take their rightful charitable donations tax deductions.


Learn how to save money on taxes through non-cash charitable gifts.


Even Ramsey admits that especially in the beginning stages of establishing a budget, his tax deduction guide would include something other than cold, hard cash. He suggests getting creative and finding alternate modes of giving, such as knowledge, time or service to help others.


Item donations


Have you cleaned out a closet and taken a load to the local thrift store recently? Depending on the size of your home, condo or apartment, it’s a good idea (for your sanity alone) to do that several times a year. Of course, don’t forget to accept a receipt for your records!


A couple of years ago, says environmental nonprofit Planet Aid, Newsweek had an article with a statistic claiming that Americans throw away about 14 million tons of clothing each year, which is about 80 pounds per person. 

And well into the 21st century, stats show that Americans throw more than 80% of our old clothes in the trash. 


What about your other things? Chances are you have toys and games in the closet with a pile of dust on them. If your son is in his teens, he won’t be picking up his “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” weapon anytime soon, and chances are you don’t have an 8-track player to hear your Barry Manilow tapes either.


Car donations


One of the best ideas when you want to know how to save money on taxes is to donate a car to charity. It’s an everyday item that practically everyone has, and at times you probably dream of an upgrade, a downgrade, or simply finding a vehicle that meets your needs better than your current vehicle.


If fiddling around with finances isn’t your bailiwick, don’t worry, because many of us understand the process of supporting the charity you wish while also garnering your charity tax deduction. At Cars2Charities, for instance, we literally handle the entire process, from towing away your vehicle donation to completing the paperwork, including the title transfer.


With a car donation to charity, you typically just turn it over to the company that’s processing your gift. For instance, when Cars2Charities gets an online donation or a call, we arrange a time for pickup and tow it to one of our technicians, who assesses it for possible alterations.


Not only is the value of your vehicle transformed into support for the charity of your choice, our process tends to raise the selling price of your car by about 25-50%. And because your tax write-off is based on the selling price of your car, it makes your tax break stronger.


You don’t have to be rich to score on your taxes. The truth is, when you look at the particulars regarding how to save money on your taxes, it’s actually very simple – don’t neglect the potential to pay less to the IRS by not participating in charitable giving and accessing your charity tax deduction.


Downturns in the economy can kill a nonprofit’s ability to survive. If you think about it – not only do consumers havedollar 499481 640less money to give to charity, the demands on their services typically rise. Meeting the needs out there with dwindling budget numbers plagues many charities, possibly one of your favorites.


Though America has been recovering from the recent Recession, there are still unmet needs out there.


If you want to give a car to charity or simply fund a 501(c)(3) directly, there are many to choose from – more than 1.5 million in the United States, to be exact. You can consult a tax deduction list of charities if you need ideas, but chances are you’re already involved with some nonprofit entity. Your child could be involved in Scouting or you could be a member of PTA. Or you may choose to give to your non-profit gardening club or performing arts group.


If you need more detailed information, it’s available here.


The prospects are really wide open, as your bottom line benefits whether you’re donating to veterans, rescuing animals or you’re throwing it in the offering plate on Sunday mornings. When it comes to how to save money on taxes, giving to charity is a winning way to achieve it. All it takes is a little creativity and attention to resources available to you.

December 15, 2018

The Best Donations for Fire Victims and Firefighters

When fires rage and people need help, we sometimes forget that donations for fire victims need to include the firefighters who suffer alongside residents. The California Fire Foundation is a non-profit organization providing emotional firefdtn1and financial support to families of firefighters who fall in the line of duty, at the same time supporting other victims of natural disasters. 


Professional firefighters in the state of California formed the Foundation in 1987 to aid in the aftermath of devastation from fires and the suffering that results. From the losses experienced by California fire victims to the sacrifice made by families of firefighters, there are unmet needs on every side of the equation.


Those with resources can become a part of the healing process through nonprofit agencies such as the California Fire Foundation.


Ceremonies at the California Firefighter Memorial are reminders of the heroism of emergency personnel.


When the public becomes keenly aware of the devastation of a natural disaster, its’ easy to remember donations for fire victims, but forget the sacrifices being made by the firefighters and their families. The California Fire Foundation constructed the California Firefighter Memorial, which is a public symbol of the work of first responders. It reminds our citizens of the dangers they face when they battle wildfires and protect citizenry in other ways.


An important part of ceremonies held at the memorial is the music. The Pipes & Drums of California Professional Firefighters is a group that was created to perform at memorial services honoring firefighters who have died in the line of duty. It’s made up of more than 25 musicians who are each either a paid, career or retired firefighter. It’s a volunteer musical group that was originally designed to provide a dignified presence at the California Firefighters Memorial in Sacramento.


Like the image many of us have of a proper firefighter funeral procession, the Pipes & Drums bring Scottish bagpipes to important gatherings and memorial occasions. Members of the group come from counties as far north as Sacramento to as far south as San Diego County. They have also appeared at such events as the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in San Francisco and the Firefighter Olympics.


The aim of the California Fire Foundation is to support firefighters through many different means.


California Last Alarm Service Team, known as Cal-LAST, was developed to provide support to fire departments that have lost one of their members in the line of duty. The team arrives to comfort individuals going through the grief process while providing the administration skills necessary to access funding through state and local benefits.firefdtn3


Funded by the Department of Justice, Cal-LAST values:
• Family and department above all
• Ask first, act later, tread lightly
• Maintain transparency
• Assist, do not take over unless requested
• Do all things well
• Provide accurate and timely information
• Personal and organizational integrity are paramount
• Honor, dignity and respect at all times


The Fire Foundation also contributes to scholarship and grant programs. Children of a fallen firefighter who are younger than 27 years old can apply for the Daniel A. Terry Scholarship, which offers financial support for higher education. The Foundation raises money to provide grants to individuals needing to take the Firefighter Candidate Testing Center, or FCTC, Physical Ability Test or written exam, but do not have the finances.

The nonprofit also funds the National Child ID program, which seeks to benefit the search for the nearly 800,000 kids reported missing each year. That’s one child every 40 seconds that parents or other family members are hoping to recover.


Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency, or SAVE, is a program reaching out to such victims as those who survived the recent California wildfires. Mastercard gift cards are handed out to people who need to replace lost items and purchase groceries.


Prevention is also an important goal for the California Fire Foundation. Firefighters on Your Side provides education to help lower the chance of mistakes that people make simply because they aren’t informed. Sometimes these cause fires that end up costing lives and resources.


The fires of 2017 were lesson enough in the need for adjustments to address climate change, which has been affecting issues from wildfires to flooding. The Foundation provides fire prevention funding to make the kinds of adjustments needed to further the goal of reducing the likelihood of disasters.


The California Firefighters Benevolent Fund is a relatively new program providing necessary assistance to those firefdtn2responders who are battling fires while their own homes are impacted by natural disasters.

The California Fire Foundation built the California Firefighters Memorial.

The Foundation designed, built and maintains a memorial at the Sacramento State Capitol in Northern California. It’s a tribute to California firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty since the state’s inception in 1850, and it currently totals more than 1,300 individuals.


The Memorial had its inception in 1992 when the California legislature passed a bill authorizing the presence of the memorial on the grounds of the Sacramento State Capitol. The physical structure of the California Firefighters Memorial was dedicated in 1995 and has three aspects to it.


The Memorial Wall is a wall made of limestone which lists every firefighter who died while on duty. It’s two-sided and has bronze statues on each side.


The “Fallen Brother” is a statue made of bronze that sits next to the wall and depicts a firefighter who is removing a fellow firefighter through flames.


“Holding the Line” is the name of a statue of four firefighters who are using a hose line to fight a fire.


Every year for almost two decades, the Foundation holds a ceremony to honor the bravery of their colleagues who died in the line of duty. The California Firefighter Memorial Ceremony is held on State Capitol grounds and the names of additional fallen firefighters become a part of the listing on the wall.


You can view photos of the California Fire Foundation’s memorial ceremony, including families of fallen firefighters andfirefdtn5see the Pipes & Drums musicians, on Flickr.

SAVE is a fire service charity program providing for victims of natural disasters.


SAVE stands for Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency and is a service to provide short-term financial assistance to California natural disaster victims. To suffer the losses of fire, flood, earthquake or disaster is impossible to imagine unless you’ve been affected as well. The grieving process is painful for those who suffer collateral damage, such as losing a loved one.


The California Fire Foundation implements the SAVE program to offset the hardship caused by the financial hit victims endure from the aftermath of wildfires. These experiences are not only emotionally damaging, but also affect finances and physical challenges.


Through the program, the Foundation seeks to provide immediate support following a fire or other natural disaster to displaced victims. Firefighters from up and down the state work together with the CFF, firefighters throughout the state of California, will distribute gift cards, in an amount designated by CFF at a minimum of $100, to eligible victims of fire or other natural disasters so they may purchase basic necessities such as food, clothing or medicine.


Firefighters working with the CFF on the SAVE program provide assurance that those impacted by disaster will receive instant, direct relief before, during and after the alarm. All parties will work together in partnership to ensure the program is executed and overseen efficien


The aid often comes through a SAVE gift card, which is handed out to both civilians and firefighters who need financial assistance. The California Fire Foundation depends on donations to continue the program, which grants victims a gift card carrying a value of $250.


Individuals can donate directly to the program, thereby becoming a generous donor to those in need. Last year more than 2,700 SAVE cards were handed out to natural disaster survivors.


The CFF fire safety charity provides a large number of resources to California residents.


A firefighter donation through the California Fire Foundation is a way to fund more public education about issues related to fire safety.


The nonprofit provides free online resources that help educate the public on fire safety, evacuation plans, and staying safe on the roads. They also provide resources for victims of wild fires by informing them of the various programs offered throughout California.


These are the kinds of programs you support with donations to fire victims through te California Fire Foundation.


In a collaboration with PG&E, the CFF has a safety campaign reminding homeowners and contractors to call 8-1-1 before digging. It’s an information line with fire safety messages in multiple languages. The messages come from firefighters themselves.


One of the CFF’s fire safety taglines is “Get Ready, Get Out, Get Help!” It’s another attempt to offer individuals with language barriers the chance to gain the necessary preparation for disasters like fire.


Some of their effort has been directed at meeting needs in the Chinese communities. The Foundation has partnered with fire unions and departments to bring their safety messages to Chinese individuals living in America. There is printed information as well as public service messages provided.


In an attempt to curb the number of auto collisions with emergency vehicles, the California Fire Foundation sponsors an information campaign regarding street safety. They have produced video public service announcements that are available to local affiliates through FireStar Productions. Two of them discuss the need to pull over when a driver sees lights and hears sirens.

There are many means to donate to firefighters and California fire victims.

The California Fire Foundation accepts donations on an ongoing basis or as a one-time gift. They can total anywhere from $25-$1,000. It gives donors the opportunity to play a part in fire prevention by supporting the work of the firefdtn4Foundation in dispersing necessary tips and funding public service messages.


Financial support for the Foundation also contributes to scholarships for the children of fallen firefighters. Though you may not know a firefighter’s family personally, you can be personally involved in caring for them when they have experienced a loss of life on the job.


A donation to fire victims and residents who lose their homes due to mudslides is made possible through CFF. And because it’s a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, donors receive a tax deduction for the gift.


You can also make a purchase to support the California Fire Foundation. When you order a $50 personalized firefighter license plate, it send proceeds to the Foundation. 


In an effort to enlist help from every avenue conceivable, the California Fire Foundation will accept car donations to fire victims. By donating your used or unwanted vehicle to Cars2Charities, proceeds from the sale of your car, truck or SUV goes to support the nonprofit.


We handle the pick-up and the paperwork of your car donation to fire victims and firefighters – even the title transfer. You can also donate a boat, golf cart or RV to support the cause. After the donation vehicle is sold, a donation check is sent to the California Fire Foundation, and you receive your tax deduction!


Find out more ways to get involved and help support the California Fire Foundation by attending their events. 


It’s easy to feel the weight of devastation when fire sweeps through a town or city and destroys tens of thousands of acres in the process. You can see the needs when you turn on your news channel or look at your pone.


When nonprofits do the legwork – arranging easy, reliable, trustworthy means to contribute, you become an active participant in giving comfort to your fellow man and woman. In the case of California wildfires, there are many ways to make donations for fire victims – even through a singular charity, the California Fire Foundation.

December 08, 2018

Impressive & Inexpensive: This Year’s Guide to Gift Giving

We all need one this time of year – a guide to gift giving so we can wow our friends, family, boss and co-workers while scoring the best deals to save a little cash. Of course, there’s no perfect list, unless you’re Santa Claus, and everyone’s gift1got their own field of recipients. But when someone else does the legwork for you, its a big help.

Everyone needs a guide to gift giving that includes affordable, last-minute ideas.

We all want to find cheap gifts – the trick is to locate the kinds of presents that either: look more expensive than they are; actually are more valuable than what you paid for them; or are so unique that nobody has any idea what the price tag was.


The affordable guide to gift giving is a different priority than just a clever gift guide. Sure – you can go to Neiman Marcus, but will another down vest or faux fur boots really impress again this year?


The key is to shake it up a little, maybe get away from ordering off your daughter’s Amazon Gift List and put on your thinking cap.


Good news! We did it for you.



For the Family: It’s not just a club membership for cheap toilet paper anymore!


There are big advantages to membership warehouse stores, according to an article on the site Money Crashers, beginning with how easy it is to make up the membership fee – usually around $50. You get it back from the savings you get on everything from low-cost household supplies to cheap gifts for everyone year-round. According to Kiplinger, most retail stores have a 25-50% markup, which is why warehouse stores can offer lower prices – because they’re collecting membership fees.


This kind of business model uses a no-frills approach to pass on the savings to the public – which is why you can get affordable gifts for him and gifts for her. FedMart was a discount store in the 1950s, sort of a precursor to places like BJs, Costco and Sam’s Club today. They just keep growing too. Whereas they used to be known for cooking supplies and household paper goods in the ‘80s, now you can purchase travel, tires, and even insurance, through such stores as Costco.


The guide to gift-giving through a membership warehouse store would certainly include discounted movie and amusement park tickets https://www.costco.com/gift-cards-tickets.html Costco sells cheap movie tickets by the bundle, and discounted tickets to parks like Disneyland, Universal Studios and Legoland.


And it’s not just a few single amusement parks. The Costco site has categories of discounted tickets and passes:gift5
• Movie Tickets
• Theme/Water Parks
• Tourist/City Attractions
• Gyms/Spas/Weight Management
• Restaurants
• Skiing/Winter Activities
• Sailing/Water Activities
• Jewelry/Watches
• Helicopter Tours
• iTunes Gift Cards
• Gift Baskets


Prepaid gift cards are a popular gift for him or her, because your gift recipients get to spend the credit cards at their leisure. There’s scarcely anything more practical, considering they can buy gas with it, dine or shop with a card.


For the Kids: Under the category of “clever, though affordable guide to gift-giving,” a Surprise Activity Box subscription would be a keeper. 



Every month the company sends the recipient activity boxes filled with all the supplies needed to spark creativity and enrichment. It’s a creative idea hatched by Donna and Rosy Khalife, who aim to inspire kids to do more than spend the American average of 7 hours a day in front of a screen.


Donna Khalife has a Harvard MBA and a background studying non-profit entrepreneurship. Rosy has a marketing degree and worked in advertising and media buying for companies in Europe and the U.S.


These two women offer parents the chance to get their kids doing off-line, hands-on play activities.


For the Traveler: This wallet has more pockets than your old purse and wallet combined. A waterproof wallet will keep your passport, cash, and tickets safe from all your adventures.

There’s nothing worse than sitting on the sand and either forgetting to take your wallet out of your pocket or not feeling secure to leave your ID with your towel on the beach. This makes it possible to hang ten while hanging onto your identity.


For the Beard Grower: To some, the Civil War is never out of style and today that’s true for a lot of men! Gifts for him aren’t always easy to find, but this one is a no-brainer if he’s got facial hair. A beard grooming kit includes: beard wash, beard lube, beard conditioner and a comb. 




For the Beauty Guru: A number of beauty industry companies offer a subscription service these days, which can be great gifts for her. Like a wine club, you let them know your preferences and they send out products to your door, which means these are gifts that keep gifting. Monthly beauty services are a newer phenomenon, though they’re much like the Avon Lady from the mid-1900s.


One of those is Birchbox, which is an app you can use on your phone to set up a subscription for five monthly beauty treats. You get a box of both prestige and niche brand beauty supplies, which is a way to sample different products and see which ones you’d like to use on a regular basis.


When you find a favorite, you can purchase a full-size version of the product and the company ships for free.


You can also send personalized beauty products through Ipsy, which was founded on a mission to “inspire individuals around the world to express their unique beauty.” The purpose is to customize options, so clients are getting exactly what meets their needs.


The company began in 2011 with a name derived from the Latin “ipse,” which means “self.” If your guide to gift giving has the individual in mind, Ipsy is probably a good bet. The Ipsy Glam Bag includes five products personalized for the “ipster,” and there’s more information available on the website, including videos and articles. It’s a way for the shopper to try more beauty options in the process of defining their beauty style.


gift4For the Coworkers: If Secret Santa is a “thing” at your place of business, you need to come up with new ideas every year that outdo your last. But depending on the size of the company, it can be expensive! For cheap gifts, turn to the lottery. One idea is to buy scratchers in bulk for your fellow employees, because a cheap scratcher could be a $100 gift for a lucky coworker.


 Visit Brostrick for more last-minute gift ideas if you’re still stumped.


The site has some unique ones on the market this year, which are hot-linked to Brostrick. If you’re hunting cheap gifts for a child, you can check out the balloon animal night light. For the other end of the spectrum – a drinker (hopefully an adult) – there’s the Micro Brew Beer Gift Basket or the Whiskey Ice Wedge.

Your friends will think of you all year with gifts that keep gifting.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the present you pick out serves them beyond the 25th of December? The greatest gift of all is a gift that keeps on giving, which in many cases includes helping some of the thousands of charities that need donations this holiday season.

Animal Charities

If the sad eyes of a puppy needing a home is what pierces the heart of your friends and family members, chances are a donation to an animal charity would please them this year. There are many ways to buy gifts for animals – and if you do it in an individual’s name, he/she gets the satisfaction of saving a dog, cat or other animal.

And the good news is, it fits the bill in the case of gifts for her or gifts for him.

Pasadena Humane Society
You can send someone a contribution to the Pasadena Humane Society and express it to them in one of many ways. You can pay for the donation and obtain the receipt, which you send to your gift recipient in a holiday card. You may also create “tribute giving,” where donations are purchased in memory of someone who has passed away.


What animal donations can provide is food, shelter, blankets and medical care, plus more opportunities to find adoption families. Many animal shelters and rescue centers have wish lists that you can access online if you’d like to donate items for care. 


You can also donate a car to an animal charity through Cars2Charities. It’s an option in any cash-saving guide to gift giving, because you don’t have to pull out your checkbook! You’re simply turning the value of your vehicle into support for animal charities. 


Golda’s House
Golda’s House accepts online donations, plus you can shop from their unique merchandise at their store, which is located at 67802 E. Palm Canyon Cathedral City, California. The hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Check their wish lists online; and know that every purchase goes to support animal rescue, volunteering, and adopting.


Because it’s a 501(c)(3), all donations to the organization are tax-deductible. You can also donate your vehicle to Golda’s House and receive a tax break.

Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

If someone on your list loves environmental causes, you may want to do some “green gifting.” One idea is to donate to The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in the Coachella Valley. Not only is it a worthy cause, it’s a way to show your friend or family member that what they care about is important.


Whether you make an annual donation or a one-time gift, it goes to keep animals fed and housed. Even a minimal gift makes a difference. For instance, $5 feeds a snake for a month; $50 provides a week of carrots for the entire collection of animals; $200 purchases one month of meat for a cheetah; and $1,000 takes care of one month of supplies for many of the animals.


If that price tag sounds high, what about a car donation to animals through Cars2Charities? It doesn’t involve scraping up cash, and you get to write it off of your taxes.


Support local firefighters through gifts that keep gifting.


Both fire personnel and victims of wildfires need help. You can donate a vehicle through Cars2charities, and again, it gift2offers disaster relief to those in need and improve your tax situation.


The Monterey Firefighters Charitable Foundation per Community Foundation of Monterey can offer you that benefit to your bottom line. If your car donation to disaster relief is made in the name of a person on your gift list, he/she will be proud to be a part of the cleanup effort.


You can donate your vehicle through Cars2Charities to support these charities and many more.
It’s the gift that keeps gifting, while putting in no cash on your part, and minimal effort. We tow away the car you no longer need and handle the entire process for you.


There aren’t many options in the guide to gift giving that are this easy. And you can choose the charity of your choice!


See the site for video details.

December 04, 2018

What Victims of California Fires Really Need

By the time the Camp Fire in California was finally 100% contained, donations for fire victims were pouring in, as millions watched news reports of the more than 150,000 acres burned. There were thousands of grieving victims of the wildfires in Paradise, California, who were living in emergency shelters, campsites and hotels, trying to regroup while suffering the loss of everything.fire3

Because of the scope of recent California fires, there’s a huge need for donations for fire victims.

The deadliest fire in California’s recorded history, the Camp Fire killed nearly 100 individuals, while many remained on a “missing” list. More than 13,500 homes and more than 500 commercial structures were burned. 


Collecting donations for fire victims gives friends and neighbors the chance to provide hope and healing to those who are suffering. While you may feel some relief that your house is still standing, there are many ways to channel empathy for those who have experienced loss and couldn’t save their belongings, heirlooms, photos or anything else.


Even perfect strangers want to find ways to make California fire donations through reliable programs to offer fire relief to those who are suffering. Donations for fire victims take many forms – the hard part is choosing which organization best supports those you choose to benefit.


Charity Navigator is a reliable source of information when you’re determining the integrity of a non-profit organization. It’s the largest evaluator of charities, offering data that lays out the financial documentation of non-profit groups in an objective manner. The site has been working since 2001 to maintain accurate ratings for nearly 10,000 of America’s charities.


When you know the best firefighter charities in the state, or in the city in which you live, your contributions can have a serious impact. You want to know that when you share your money it’s going to a good cause, which means you want reputable non-profits to receive your contribution.

You can donate to firefighters directly.

First responders are often fighting devastating fires while their own homes burn to the ground. According to the Fire Rescue 1 website, in this year’s Butte County blaze there were 53 Paradise firefighters and 17 members of the police force who lost their houses.


The best firefighter charities are non-profits that get the money where it’s needed, and there are many to choose from, including:
International Association of Fire Fighters Foundation Disaster Relief Fund
The IAFF accepts donations to offer monetary support to firefighters who have personally suffered because of the fires.
National Volunteer Fire Council’s Volunteer Firefighter Support Fund
This directly contributes to emergency personnel and firefighters who have lost homes in the wildfires.
Ventura County Community Foundation’s Sudden and Urgent Needs Fund
Also known as SUNF, the foundation provides $5,000 grants to non-profits who help victims of the Camp Fire and Hill Fire.

California Fire Foundation
Formed in 1987, the California Fire Foundation provides emotional and financial assistance to families of fallen firefighters and the communities where they work to protect citizens. Because it’s a 501(c)(3) you can directly donate, or you can work through a program such as donating a car to charity and specifying the Foundation to receive proceeds.


One of the non-profit’s projects is the California Firefighters Memorial, which was designed and built to memorialize fallen firefighters at the Sacramento State Capitol. On an ongoing basis, the CFF supports families of firefighters killed in the line of duty by providing emergency supplies and education assistance to their children.

You can also donate to firefighters through specific, local fire departments.

The area where you live may have a foundation specific to your town or county. Firefighters from the recent devastating California fires have non-profit organizations to serve those who suffered injury on the job.


There’s a foundation benefiting firefighters in Monterey, California, which you can choose to support directly or through a fire4car donation to MFFCF. The International Association of Fire Fighters Local 3707 has a non-profit entity called the Monterey Fire Fighters Charitable Foundation.


The organization is dedicated to providing relief to fire victims, as well as taking care of their own members. You can find out more about making donations for fire victims through Monterey Firefighters on the website.


The Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation and the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund takes care of families of firefighters when they have lost their lives or been injured while fighting fires.


To assist the Northern California first responders, the North Valley Community Foundation is able to process donations for fire victims. It helps public safety personnel who are suffering losses from the Camp Fire. Specifically, it includes sheriff deputies, police and fire workers and those in related departments who have lost their homes. Based in Chico, California, the NVCF supports evacuation centers in the area through its resources.


There’s a GoFundMe for ambulance crews of Butte County. A group from the California Ambulance Association created a GoFundMe page for the 25 employees and their families who lost their cars, houses and other possessions due to the Camp Fire. The goal was set at $50,000.


There’s also a GoFundMe page for members of the Paradise Police Departments. Those whose homes burned in the Camp Fire can gain much-needed relief from donations. They include seven police officers, four dispatchers, two community service officers, two animal control officers, one records clerk, one administrative assistant and the police chief. It was created by the Paradise Police Officers Association, who set up a goal of $200,000.


Sometimes cash donations are more useful than donating supplies to fire victims.
It’s not that all kinds of donations aren’t welcome, but a lack of storage space can become a problem when too many supplies come in following a disaster, according to financial website MarketWatch.


Even Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg publicly announced they wanted donations to the Camp Fire to be limited to cash. He said, “Please don’t send supplies, as the evacuation centers say they have been inundated.” 


The Humane Society and the American Red Cross have doubled down on that opinion. What comes in first – and rapidly – are clothing, food and other necessities, but victims need cash. They lack resources to buy what they and their families need.


The Red Cross issued the following statement: “After a disaster hits, the American Red Cross witnesses the incredible generosity of people from across the country who want to help in any way they can with donations of items like clothes, shoes, food and household items, but the reality is, cash donations are best.”


Actress Sandra Bullock donated $100,000 to the Humane Society of Ventura County so the organization could house displaced dogs, cats, donkeys, pigs, horses, chickens, ducks and other pets in the area.


Gift cards are a practical method for contributing to the cause. You can purchase Walmart or Target gift cards, gift cards from gas stations and money for groceries. Some of those companies and stores that are within range for victims of the California wildfires include: Raley’s, Walgreens, Dollar Tree, Big Lots, Rite-Aid, CVS and Food Maxx.


A car donation to fire victims offers much-needed cash funds to those who have lost their homes.

Though it isn’t always the first thing to cross your mind when you see the devastation from wildfires, the thousands of individuals displaced and grieving from the loss of belongings and even family members, you can donate a car to victims of fire.


Donating a car to firefighters and fire victims is possible if you go through a trusted car charity program.


Cars2Charities has created a subcategory for anyone who wishes to donate their vehicle to fire relief or an organization that helps firefighters and/or victims affected by the California Fires. We will send the proceeds to one of our local nonprofits or if you have a specific cause in mind please contact us and we can reach out to them. 


You can donate a car to the Salvation Army through Cars2Charities as a means to impact fire victims. 


Not only has the non-profit been a trusted charity for more than 100 years, the Salvation Army is directly involved, offering supplies to those who need it. There is an amazing story about how a local warehouse was converted into a store for fire victims to browse clothing and provisions, thanks to the Salvation Army. Survivors of the Camp Fire were able to go to the Koret distribution warehouse, located near the Chico Airport, to “shop” for belongings. 


It’s sometimes ironic – that while thousands of individuals have nothing, you may something in excess you no longer need – a car. The high demand in donations for fire victims isn’t easily met, and when you have something sitting in your garage that has value it can be converted into support for the cause.


Getting rid of a car you don’t use seems like a small need by contrast to the toll on California fire victims. The Woolsey Fire destroyed 1,500 structures totaling 97,000 acres. It could even be seen from space, says a CNN report.


That’s why many are grateful for the win-win aspect of solving your problem (disposing of a vehicle) by giving a sizable boost to those in need.

You can offer fire relief even in the aftermath of disaster.

Regardless of the location of the devastation, donations for fire victims are always part of the equation. And it extends beyond the time the blaze is contained. 


It’s easy to assume that residents of Malibu don’t need financial support, and they are a tight-knit community to be sure. But there are apartments in Point Dume where renters have been displaced and others, such as struggling actors, who live in backhouses and bungalows.


Not everyone is a multi-millionaire. Some Malibu residents are retirees, often former tradesmen from the entertainment industry, such as Dick Haverick, who bought a trailer 30 years ago and lives in it on a property in Malibu. 


Even people who didn’t lose their homes were evacuated and couldn’t return due to downed power lines, etc. The recovery process is slow and painful for everyone.


And it wasn’t just Malibu.


The Woolsey Fire started in Simi Valley, California on November 8 during the heavy Santa Ana Winds, then it spread into Malibu and parts of the San Fernando Valley. There were about 1,500 houses and buildings destroyed and damage to hundreds more. Maps show the fire affected two counties because of its spreading.


The Hill Fire scorched approximately 4,500 acres in Ventura County. It was named for the Hill Canyon Trail, which is located in an area of Thousand Oaks called Santa Rosa, and it began on November 8, 2018 around 2 p.m., just before the Woolsey Fire.


Investigators have determined the Hill Fire was caused by human activity and they’re asking anyone with information about the possible cause of the fire to contact Cal Fire's tip line at 800-468-4408. ABC News reported there’s even a reward of $10,000 for information leading to the person responsible for starting the blaze. 


So, it seems you can be part of the solution through more than giving resources; you can aid authorities by giving information.


There are lots of choices – you can donate clothes to fire victims, donate your car to charity, or simply write a check. But none of these communities will recover quickly. The beauty of the human spirit notwithstanding, there’s damage to account for – even people missing. There’s still work to do.


Donations for fire victims will still be needed for months, possibly even years. Whether you dip into savings, carve out part of your paycheck or turn the value of your car into cash. There are many who are grateful for your generosity.

November 26, 2018

Donate Your Unused Miles and Credit Card Points to Charity

Have you gotten a message from your credit card company telling you to “cash in your points before they expire”? You can donate airline miles and points to charity instead of doing something last minute, points3blike scrolling through the choices and picking another home decorator item you don’t actually want.

Converting something you don’t need into support for a cause, like donating a car to charity, is a practical way to show your generosity. If you aren’t planning a trip and you don’t want anything your points can buy, you can donate unused or soon-to-expire miles or points.

Donated miles can benefit many different charities.

Whether your passion is animal rescue, children’s education or another great cause, there are many ways to support a favorite non-profit group. Miles donations have brought comfort, safety and relief to people through a variety of charity groups.

Americans have become increasingly aware of the challenges faced by returning members of the military. Statistics show that approximately 22 veterans per day commit suicide – a sobering thought by many standards. Families of military members suffer as well, in part, because of both the physical and emotional health issues that affect everyone in the household.

You can donate a car to veterans and help the work of a related 501(c)(3) to bring relief to the wounded and support to their families. The Wounded Warrior Project and the USO are two of the best-known organizations, but any non-profit that serves veterans can receive the benefit of your car donation. 

There are also ways to support veterans if you’ve earned points from your bank or credit card companypoints4that you don’t plan to use. For instance, the Hero Miles Program is offered by five different airlines and benefits individuals from the military. The non-profit helps injured service members and their families stay connected during treatment, flying family members to and from their loved one who is in a VA hospital or military facility.

It’s a successful benefit program for the Fisher House Foundation, with nearly 100,000 tickets booked and awarded so far. 

Because the presence of family helps patients in the healing process, over 8 million lodging days have been given by Fisher House so far, and Hero Miles provides the transportation. Airlines work cooperatively with the organization, waiving booking fees and rescheduling emergency flights as needed, without charging extra.

Your miles donations can also provide funding to help patients with life-threatening medical conditions by supporting cancer research and treatment. A non-profit medical center can receive a financial boost, which means more patient care from nurses and a greater level of healing options.

You can benefit children with life-threatening diseases through a car donation to a Children’s Hospital or a charity like the Childhood Leukemia Foundation or March of Dimes.

Most major airlines allow you to donate your miles to charity.

Transferring your miles to benefit a charity is a widely accepted practice, but each airline has its own guidelines.

American Airlines

points1According to American Airlines, more than 60,000 AAdvantage members donated more than 140,000,000 miles in one year through its Kids In Need program, which provides transportation to hundreds of families of children that need medical, educational and social services.

Miles of Hope is the airline’s program contributing to organizations that give food, clothing and shelter to individuals through trusted organizations such as the American Red Cross. The program enables members to make 1,000 miles donations per gifting through the program.

AAdvantage members can support the military through Miles for All Who Serve. It assists organizations that support veterans, members of the military and their families.

Delta Airlines

The flexibility allowed by Delta Airlines’ miles donations program enables you to buy, gift, transfer or donate miles to a cause. Through your SkyMiles account you can gift miles to someone who needs to get from Point A to Point B.

Unlike a vehicle donation to charity, which is tax-deductible, your miles can be transferred to up to four recipients as a simple gift. A friend or family member who lacks the miles they need for a trip can utilize yours, which puts them to use, even when you don’t. There are terms and conditions, including transaction fees.

Southwest Airlines

Points for a Purpose is Southwest Airlines’ program, which allows you to donate to the following nine different charities:

• All Hands Volunteers
• American Red Cross
• Dream Foundation
• Honor Flight Network
• Team Rubicon
• The Mission Continues
• Make-a-Wish
• Ronald McDonald House
• Student Conservation Association

United Airlines

MileagePlus members can make donations to the American Red Cross through United’s charity program. You can do more than just award travel points – you can donate frequent flyer miles and help people in need.

With a minimum of 500 miles, you can donate airline miles to charity through United’s Airline Ambassadors. MileagePlus frequent flyer miles can combat human trafficking by supporting humanitarian teams sent by the airline throughout the world, saving orphans and other vulnerable children.

Alaska Airlines

The charity miles program at Alaska Airlines offers Mileage Plan members the chance to support any number of charities, including:points2

Angel Flight West
Dream Foundation
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Foundation
Hero Miles
Make-a-Wish Foundation
United Negro College Fund
Medical Teams International
National Forest Foundation
The Nature Conservancy


The ball is in your court when you donate airline miles to charity through JetBlue. You can donate TrueBlue points to any charity you choose. The points go directly to the non-profit. 

With three simple steps you can give your miles to support the work of a charity you admire and trust. All they have to do is accept the transfer. First, choose a charity; second, decided on a quantity of miles to transfer; and third, give them to the cause!

Some charities accept miles donations directly without going through an airline.

To donate airline miles and points to charity, you don’t have to go through an airline’s program. You can transfer your frequent flyer miles directly to a favorite cause as well.

Your miles can be the vehicle that flies a victim of tragic circumstances to a new home. Miles4Migrants uses miles donations to help those who have been displaced by war and oppression.

Leaders of the non-profit combined donations from a church congregation and came up with $12,000 for nine plane tickets from Burundi to Toronto. Members of St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church in Canada had learned a parishioner’s husband and eight children were granted permanent residence visas to join her in Canada, but she couldn’t afford to fly them over from the Republic of Burundi in East Africa.

The Burundian family’s arrival was the first time the charity worked with a Canadian organization to reunite refugees — and the 350,000 miles was the highest mileage redeemed on a single case for the group since its inception in September 2016, according to an article in The Star.

Miles4Migrants is run online by volunteers and has had more than 39 million airline miles pledged from donors around the world and has flown individuals to join their loved ones in Belgium, Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States.

The charity only assists refugees whose separated families have been issued legal permanent residence visas from the receiving country and are referred by community.

Make-A-Wish America is a well-known non-profit group making fantasies into reality for kids who are ill. points5The pediatric patients have become more ambitious since the first wish was granted in 1980 to a child who wanted to become a policeman. In 2016, fulfilling a typical wish cost about $10,000.

More than 77% of all wishes have a travel component, the non-profit’s website says. Granting every wish that comes in would require 50,000 round-trip tickets each year.

“More than 168 million airline miles were donated to Make-A-Wish,” says Josh deBerge, director of communications for Make-A-Wish America. “To put this into context, Make-A-Wish would need more than 2.8 billion airline miles to cover all air-related costs for wish kids and their families.”

Demand is always high, as children contract terminal illnesses continually. Your miles donations can help to offset the high cost of bringing happiness to these special kids.

You can also donate points to charity from your credit card companies.

Donated charity miles are not tax-deductible, like a car charity donation, but credit card points can be, which is one advantage over miles donations.

American Express cardholders can transfer points through the Members Give Program. It allows individuals to donate their points to one or more charities, making the process of charitable giving much easier. AmEx emails you a receipt for your records so you can write it off your taxes.

Cardholders can even do it on a regular basis: You can arrange recurring donations, which are a tax-deductible way to give back.

Citi Card has its PointWorthy Program for its members. Cardholders can currently participate in a promotion with Hilton Honors, which will match donated points to any charity. These benefit the cause you choose and donations are tax-deductible. 

Some of the charities that are front-and-center in the PointWorthy program are California wildfire efforts and other disaster relief programs.

Discover Card encourages their cardholders to donate their cashback bonuses to one of the eight charities they partner with. Discover will contribute an additional $25,000 to the charity that receives the most contributions from their members.

The sky’s the limit points6when it comes to ways you can benefit your fellow man, woman and child. But for many of us, just donating raw cash isn’t always possible.

It’s mutually beneficial when we find a way to fund the hard work of organizations putting food, clean water, safety and other needs into the lives of the powerless. They get funding and the giver receives a tax benefit.

Something we have in our possession – miles, points, a car we no longer use – can bring those good deeds to life. When you donate airline miles and points to charity, or donate your car to charity, you join that effort.

November 15, 2018

A Car Donation Goes the Distance in Helping Families with Focus on the Family

For more than 40 years through the grace of God, Focus on the Family has fotf logobeen a support system for families – strengthening marriages and helping parents raise their children by applying Christian principles and proven strategies.

There are households without strong leadership that give children no standards for excellence. There are marriages floundering as couples look for hope and help. A car donation can help offer resources to families that provide biblical wisdom and guidance, as well as needed encouragement and support.

You can donate a car to Focus on the Family through Cars2Charities.

Like an individual dying of thirst in the desert, families are in crisis and need assistance from those who can provide it. When you decide to upgrade what you drive, the value of the car you don’t need can shift into a new gear: By giving your support through a Focus on the Family Car Donation you are helping those seeking a better direction for their lives.

Focus on the Family has the biblical integrity a donor can count on and will use a car donation to strengthen families and spread the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Recent data indicates that in the last year alone Focus on the Family has been able to:

• Help at least 259,000 people make decisions for Christ or rededicate their lives to Him.

• Field more than 26,000 phone calls in the Counseling department which is staffed by caring licensed counselors. Individuals contacting Focus are seeking guidance with a host of difficult challenges in their family such as addiction, crises involving children or marital relationships, financial problems, and a broad array of other issues.

• Come alongside more than 132,000 married couples to help them through a major marital crisis. Also, since the inception of the Hope Restored marriage intensive program, Focus has had a hand in saving 3,000 marriages on the FOTF1brink of divorce.

• Provide help for more than 187,000 parents working through a significant crisis involving their child.

• Prepare Alive to Thrive: A Biblical Guide to Preventing Teen Suicide, a program aimed at equipping parents, churches, and youth workers to help kids avoid the kinds of thoughts, relationships, and personal choices that would make them more prone to suicidal tendencies and risky, detrimental decisions.

This is just a quick snapshot of the types of life-changing outreaches underway that are at the core of what Focus on the Family does to reach out to families. By your vehicle donation through Cars2Charities, you will be partnering with them in addressing the needs of countless people – accepting and assisting them right where they are.

A car donation for families also can have a worldwide impact on the social and emotional state of individuals across the world.

Because Focus on the Family reaches out across the globe in many languages and cultures, people in every walk of life have an opportunity to experience a new life in Jesus Christ and build relationships based on biblical principles.

Focus on the Family's Global Partnership serves families in Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, with associate offices in 12 countries. They’re all hubs of support, bringing to everyday citizens a message of peace and hope through scriptural truths conveyed via resources, counsel, and outreach to the community. Focus on the Family materials bring a message of relevance in different languages while maintaining respect for individual cultures.

Every Focus on the Family office, whether in the U.S. or another part of the world is committed to the mission: Helping families thrive. A car donation to kids will enable this amazing 501(c)(3) to continue their good work of spreading encouragement and hope by bringing the Good News to people stateside and around the globe.

You can strengthen marriages and improve parenting with a car donation for families.

Focus on the Family has been blazing trails since 1977, meeting the needs of moms, dads and children by providing biblical guidance for families and individuals. Their staff and volunteers are committed to spreading compassion in the name of Christ.

What began with a weekly 30-minute radio broadcast grew to include the Focus on the Family magazine, a daily radio broadcast, video curriculums, and FOTF2online streaming of podcasts on topics from marriage to financial accountability. Individuals who make a car donation through this Christian charity are maximizing their outreach by helping provide life-giving guidance to parents and married couples as well as singles.

If you don’t have a car to donate, for families, you can donate directly to Focus on the Family.

To learn more about Focus on the Family, thousands of families visit their Colorado Springs, Colorado, campus each year. Tours of the facility are offered, beginning with the Welcome Center. There’s a bookstore (in addition to their online bookstore), an art gallery, and many special attractions for children.

Families can introduce their kids to Focus on the Family ministries while letting them enjoy numerous activities. There’s a recording studio called KYDS Radio where children can record themselves playing a role in a radio drama and take home a complimentary CD. Also, they can get a snack in the turn-of-the-century “Whit’s End Soda Shoppe,” named for an Adventures in Odyssey character. You can spend the day exploring these offerings as well as the fotf 6Narnia Adventure Room, a three-story slide in the play area, and more.

As a trusted non-profit charity, Focus on the Family is a great organization to support whether through the car donation program, other non-cash gifts, or monetary contributions. Putting faith into action, Focus on the Family is transparent with how donations are spent, so you can be more certain that your car donation will truly improve the quality of life of individuals who are impacted by their efforts. And that’s really good news.

You can find the donation form on their website if you choose to donate to Focus on the Family directly. And we encourage you to visit Focus on the Family’s YouTube Page where you’ll discover testimonials, videos of their broadcast tapings, and a variety of spiritually enriching information.

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