Ways to Give & Love yourself for giving

12-08-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Coming into the Holiday season, I know we’ve all been a bit stretched with giving and I thank you for your sacrificial giving in the Together Let Us Go Forth Capital Campaign, (and don't forget to redeem your Pledge) so I want to remind you of ways you can still give but at no cost to your budget.

Shea Grant. As you know the Shea Family Charities awarded our School a grant to help upgrade the Campus. As of today, they have completed $3million in work to improve our Campus and School Infrastructure. Our part in the Grant is to raise 20% and currently we are still shy about $100,000. This spring we will apply for an additional Grant from Shea for work on the School that still needs upgrading. So, your support in helping us reach our 20% will help demonstrate our commitment to the project. Please contact Deacon Jim at the Parish Office to arrange for your gift or your multi-year pledge.

Gift Cards from our Food For Thought Program, cost you only the face value of the gift card. The vendor gives back a certain percentage to OLMC. For instance, if you purchase a $100 gift card you get a gift card worth $100 and the vendor gives back to the parish, depending on the vendor anywhere between 4% and 20% or higher. So, on a $100 at 4% the parish gets $4. Attached to this week’s Bulletin is a list of vendors and the denominations that are available. There is also a % sign next to each indicating the percentage the vendor rebates to the Parish. Obviously at Christmas time we all do a lot of purchases so if you can give it some thought as to which stores you will shop at, then you can purchase the gift cards before heading out to the Mall or Shopping on-line.

Arizona Tax Credits are available to all who pay AZ State tax. Not sure, just check your payroll stub to see the amount you paid this year or ask your Tax Preparer. Tax Credits are NOT Tax Deductions. With a Tax Credit you get a dollar for dollar return. So, if you contribute $1000 you get to claim $1000 on your AZ Income taxes and get it back as a full refund or it can be deducted from any AZ taxes you still owe. There are lots of Tax Credits in AZ: Tax Credit for Private Schools (the one we operate is Catholic Education Arizona (catholiceducationarizona.org) but there are many other ones as well. Tax Credits are also available for organizations that work with the poor and needy such as St. Vincent de Paul, the Aid to Women Center, Catholic Charities and many others. Tax Credits give the taxpayer the power to earmark where their taxes will go. You can contribute to multiple Tax Credit recipients and you can also use the short form when filing your AZ taxes. This obviously helps the State meet the needs of its children and citizens. Again, it doesn't cost you anything since you are already paying the taxes.

Employer Matching Gifts are available from many employers. Employers will often match your charitable donations through programs they operate. Check with your employer to see if they have a Matching Gifts Program. We will be happy to assist your employer with any details they may need to set up their contribution. Also, some employers will provide a contribution to non-profit organizations to which one of their employees donate time or service hours. Again, check with your employer. It is an easy way to turn your service hours to the Parish or School into a financial contribution from your employer. In doing so you double the gift you give to your Parish!

Gifts of Stocks, Bonds, Securities, Real Estate and real property are all tax-deductible gifts with which you can bless your Parish or our School. We will be happy to assist you in making these types of gifts to the Parish.

End of Year Giving. Many of you consult with your Tax Advisors before the end of the year to see what possible gifts you can still make before the end of the 2019 Tax year. Mt. Carmel will gladly provide Tax receipts or any other documentation you may need to make an end of the year gift.

Finally, as you plan ahead please consider including our Parish in your estate planning. Many of our parishioners have blessed us even in death by bequeathing to us financial gifts or gifts of property. If you would like to specify how such a gift would be used, I would be happy to discuss that with you. Thank you as always for your wonderful stewardship of our Parish. I hope these many ways of no-cost giving or tax saving gifts will inspire you during this Season of Giving!

Love, Fr. John B.

PS Our Annual Report for the fiscal year ending June 30 is posted on our website or there are copies available in the Church so you can see how we steward the resources you entrust to us.