Jul 16, 2014

A Nation of Givers

America is a nation of givers. Fueled by our desire to give, charities are on the front lines of improving people’s lives and helping those who fall to get back up. Government can provide a safety net for those that charities can’t reach, but government is neither the only nor the most efficient entity to help those in need.

Churches and synagogues, Boys and Girls Clubs, the YMCA, My Brother’s Keeper, and thousands of other organizations across the country all serve their communities and help those in need. These organizations are filled with individuals who come together privately and out of the goodness of their hearts to help others.

Recognizing that giving is both an inherent characteristic of our nation and an important public service, the United States government promotes charitable giving in its tax code. To this end, the House will vote tomorrow on legislation sponsored by Congressman Tom Reed (NY-23) to help charities obtain important resources to carry out their mission.

The America Gives More Act, H.R. 4719, is a combination of five bills to promote charitable giving.

H.R. 4719 – Fighting Hunger Incentive Act of 2014 (Reed)

H.R. 2807 – Conservation Easement Act of 2014 (Gerlach)

H.R. 4619 – Permanent IRA Contribution Act of 2014 (Schock)

H.R. 3134 – Charitable Giving Extension Act (Kelly)

H.R. 4691 – Private Foundation Excise Tax Simplification Act of 2014 (Paulsen)

Many tax breaks for charitable acts have either expired or are set to expire, but this bill will make them permanent and provide certainty to charitable organizations and the millions of people they serve every day.

Over 800 of these organizations signed a letter this month in support of these critical tax bills. Here are just a few describing in their own words how their work impacts our communities:

Mason Food Pantry“The majority of those we help feed through our pantry are hard-working families who simply cannot make ends meet. They are parents in minimum-wage jobs, the unemployed middle class professional, and the elderly on fixed income.”

Family League of Baltimore“The organization serves as an architect of change… to bring together financial support and a shared vision for education and nutrition that benefit the children and families of Baltimore.”

People Helping People“PHP is dedicated to serving those who have the desire to help themselves.  We believe the majority of the financial difficulties that families are facing today are caused by a lack of education on the fundamentals of money.”

The YMCA USA“The Y is a cause-driven organization that is for youth development, for healthy living and for social responsibility. That’s because a strong community can only be achieved when we invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors.”

The Joseph House“The Joseph House [of Texas] is a resident-centered home and welcomes any terminally ill person enrolled in the hospice of their choice and with a life expectancy of three or less months – regardless of age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, national origin, social/economic status, or disability.”

In addition to these examples, we urge you to find those organizations that work in your own states helping your constituents and communities every day through this link.

When Americans give, we don’t ask what we will get in return. We help because we want to, not because we are forced to. And we help not only as individuals, but also through charitable organizations. They give a helping hand to our nation, and tomorrow provides us a chance to lend a hand to them.