Last-minute giving is hot today

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, December 31, 2015

The clock is ticking to get your donations to a local nonprofit for a write-off on your 2015 taxes, and nonprofits are ready.

Whether it is a gift to end the year or you need a little extra bump on that itemized deduction sheet, you can provide cash, check or goods and keep up with your receipt for tax time all day at various centers.

One nonprofit is reaching out to the community today in its effort to hit a large campaign goal that will in turn benefit dozens of nonprofits in the Lafayette County, Oxford and University of Mississippi area.

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Alice Ricks, executive director of United Way of Oxford & Lafayette County, said its annual campaign is still ongoing and today is a great time to donate.

“The 2015 campaign is on track for success, but we need the community’s help to get there,” she said. “The campaign has topped $300,000 but is definitely still underway, with many workplace campaigns — including Winchester (typically  our  second largest workplace campaign site) — yet to report on their employee pledges and corporate gifts. We are also still seeking local business and individual donors.”

Last year, United Way generated $530,000, and this year the goal is even higher.

Ricks said the last-minute donations are appreciated because once January hits, the organization turns its efforts to deciding which nonprofits in the area it will give grants to.

“This year, applications will be accepted in four priority areas — health, education, financial stability and basic needs — with specific funding preferences listed in the materials,” she said. “Basic-needs programs will this year be distinguished from the financial stability priority area, given the distinct and important role of safety net services in our community. Nonprofit organizations running programs that serve Lafayette County residents are eligible to apply.”

Applications are due in February.

“We hope everyone will consider a year-end contribution, at whatever level works for them and their family,” Ricks said. “Donations to United Way stay local, with 99 cents of every dollar staying in LOU, and we know you’ll be able to see your direct impact in action throughout the community in 2016.”

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Another local nonprofit reaching out to the community this week is Clear Core.

Clear Core has been dedicated to educating the youth of Oxford and Lafayette County for the past 20 years.

Clear Core representative Osborne Burks said the nonprofit was created by local residents to serve local residents regardless of any affiliation or demographics and has awarded more than 75 scholarships to students from both school systems. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 130, Taylor, MS 38673.