WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2017/2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/897427

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Page 27 of 195

and who is being helped. Such "field work" will only enhance your knowledge of and possible commitment to the future work of the organization. If you can't find the on-site time, take a walk through the nonprofit's website — most are inviting and instruc- tive. Annual reports linked to the site speak to the financial solvency of a nonprofit — best to support a place that is respon- sible in its stewardship of charitable gifts. seven Turn the Calendar Upside Down Consider supporting a charity on an off-season cycle. The hungry and cold need meals and clothing and shelter year-round. For example, the work of the Salvation Army continues every day of the year — not just at the holidays when you see (and maybe drop a small contribution into) the iconic red kettles at local crossroads. Summer camps for low-income children have ongoing cash flow needs when the snow is flying. Surprise (and delight and support) a nonprofit at a time of year when the planning is being done. Need knows no season. eight Get Specific Give a Goat: No, Tom Brady's not for sale, but plenty of local and global community-sustaining organizations (Heifer International, for example) invite you to buy a flock of chicks (or a goat) for a farmer. Others invite you to "sponsor" a child. Such personalized gifts can make you feel more directly connected to the community that you are strengthening. You can live out the maxim of "teaching a person to fish"— which has lasting value as a shared journey of building a better future. nine Do Your Homework Make sure the organization you're supporting is a registered nonprofit, easily confirmed on the Internal Revenue Service or State Attorney General's Charitable Bureau websites. Charity Navigator (www.charitynavigator.org) is an independent watchdog site that's useful for evaluating organizations to donate to. This is not to suggest that you be skeptical, but rather thoughtful in how your contribution will be used. ten Protect Yourself Against Fraud This tip ties directly to tip nine, with an extra layer of healthy safeguarding. In these days of cyber-crime and silver-tongued scammers, you can't be too careful in knowing not only where/to whom you're talking and giving, but also to whom you might give your vital, personal data (credit cards, money/wire transfers and the like). Trust, but verify — and, if unsure, ask to have materials mailed to you first. Then visit the appropriate website for another, closer look. In closing, charitable giving should feel good — balancing the scales between blessings present and needs apparent. Your support for worthy causes should settle well in both your heart and your head. A little bit of soul-searching can lead to affirming ideas. But remember, while we ponder figuring out where to give, other lives struggle. So, if you can, don't wait. Donate now! K I D S T O C K / B L E N D I M A G E S L L C 26 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 7 / 2 0 1 8 10 tips

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