November has arrived. This reminds me that there are only two months left in the calendar year 2011. And that means time to make sure you are taking full advantage of the tax deduction for charitable giving. Have you helped a non-profit this year? Have you made your donations? Have you given generously? More than ever charities are stepping in to help provide the safety net that once government did. I know in our own congregation we are helping more people who are out of work to try and connect with Vocational Services. We have stepped up our food donations to Sova-the Kosher Food Pantry because the demand is so great. In fact they moved just a couple of doors down from our temple and we can see daily the lines of people out the door. We even helped create a children’s lending library so when parents have their kids in tow, the kids can be occupied while the parents fill out the forms and get their bags of groceries. Take some time now to think carefully about your charitable giving and if you are in a position GIVE.
Give to your Temple, Church or other House of Worship. Give to those that feed the hungry. Give to those groups that help our returning Vets. Give to something. Because the need is so great in these times.
And if you can’t give money-go through your closets. Do you have shoes you never wear that could help keep a homeless person’s feet healthier? Do you have spare blankets or clothes to donate to an organization that can resell them in their thrift store?
Yes you can deduct the amount you give on your taxes. But the real mitzvah, the real responsibility is to take care of one another. Yes we are our brother and sister’s keeper.