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Bladine: Amid risks, still a spirit of giving

I’m thankful that December comes just once a year — a festive and cheerful time, for sure, but imagine the strains on our physical, emotional and financial conditions if every month were December.

It’s food-and-beverage time on steroids occasionally to excess, and no doubt the trigger to many a New Year’s resolution. It’s a time of dangerous winter weather, and even more dangerous pathogens causing respiratory infections. Holiday spirits are high for many, but can sink low for those reminded of past Decembers with loved ones lost.

As evidence of those risks, an analysis by Live Science reveals that from 2010 to 2020, the 11 highest average-monthly-deaths numbers in the United States ranged from 218,102 in August to 242,475 in December. And no surprise, the highest average was 251,699 in January.

But enough of the potential negatives; be careful out there, but do partake in the personal, family, community and cultural traditions of this much-heralded month. One of those traditions ranks at the top: Giving.

Whatchamacolumn

Jeb Bladine is president and publisher of the News-Register.

> See his column

Giving can be an act of worship, an act of sacrifice, an act of love. It can bestow others with some of your wealth, your talents, your time or possessions. We can tuck family presents under brightly lit trees and still save some spirit of giving to unknown people whose needs exceed our own.

If you need a nudge and some information about those needs, read through the News-Register’s “Season of Giving” section in next week’s News-Register.

The annual special section is a triple play of Giving: Local businesses pay for publication of those messages from area nonprofits; readers respond with year-end contributions essential to the continued work of those providers; and they then provide support and services to all manner of local people with needs.

And for good measure, for those who itemize deductions, the IRS and Oregon Department of Revenue combine to compensate the givers.

We all have our favorites. Personally, I like the Oregon Cultural Trust: A married couple can spread $1,000 among 30 eligible nonprofits in Yamhill County; give $1,000 to the OCT; get a $1,000 cash credit on Oregon taxes; and take charitable deductions of $2,000 with the IRS and $1,000 with the state. For some – ask your tax adviser — that $2,000 in donations will return about $1,750 in tax offsets.

I’m also partial to the McMinnville Area Community Foundation and the Give A Little Foundation, two ways to spread donations among many local nonprofits. But whatever your preferences, please join in the 2022 Season of Giving.

Jeb Bladine can be reached at jbladine@newsregister.com or 503-687-1223.

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