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Posts about Charitable donations

Big garage sale benefiting American Cancer Society starts Thurs.

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: April 22, 2010 - 11:33 AM


The annual American Cancer Society garage sale in October was replaced last year by smaller "discovery" occasional sales. The 2010 sale dates are April 22-26, May 20-24, June 24-28, July 22-26 and Aug. 26-30. Items include furniture, housewares, clothing, small appliances and tools. Organizer Leah Swenson mentioned several featured items at this sale: bags donated by Young America that contain tomato planting seeds ($1), a drill press for $80, free analog TVs, and plenty of artwork.

Hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday ($3 admission both days), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday (half-price day) next to Home Depot at Park Place Shopping Center, 6731 Boone Av. N., Brooklyn Park, 651-255-8716,


Get an even better coupon to use at Herberger's Goodwill sale

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: March 8, 2010 - 10:37 AM

Herberger's annual Goodwill sale event is one of its best sales of the year. Starting Wednesday through March 24, bring in clothing and textiles (bedding) to donate to Goodwill and get a coupon for 10 to 20 percent discounts on stuff throughout the store. (One coupon for each item donated.)

But here's the better deal: Go to Herberger's website , click on "A million acts of goodwill, click here to get 25 percent coupon," and print a 25 percent coupon to be used on a single clothing or jewelry item. (Or get 20 percent off cosmetics, fragrances, shoes, intimate apparel, maternity and home store items).

You need to print the coupon before Wednesday or you won't be able to use it until March 24 (still not a bad deal).

What are the exceptions? Yellow Dot clearance, Incredible Value merch, Bonus Buys, Door Busters and Special Event merchandise. Still, being able to use the coupons on sale merch and cosmetics is something that Macy's customers can only dream about.

Shop early and bring something to occupy you while you wait. The lines to check out during the sale can test your patience.


Better Business Bureau offers tips to Haiti donors

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: January 14, 2010 - 8:51 AM

The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota offers the following tips as people donate to the cause.

Rely on expert opinion when evaluating a charity.
Be cautious when relying on third-party recommendations such as bloggers or other Web sites, as they might not have fully researched the listed relief organizations. The public can go to the Better Business Bureau's site to research charities and relief organizations to verify that they are accredited by the BBB and meet the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. Another site that check charitable organizations is Charity Navigator .

Find out who will benefit from the donations and what type of assistance they will be provided.
Ask the charity where it will concentrate its efforts and what products and services it will provide the needy.

Be wary of claims that 100 percent of donations will assist victims.
Despite what an organization might claim, charities have fund raising and administrative costs. Even a credit card donation will involve, at a minimum, a processing fee. If a charity claims 100 percent of collected funds will be assisting victims, the truth is that the organization is still probably incurring fund raising and administrative expenses.  They may use some of their other funds to pay this, but the expenses will still be incurred.

Be cautious of e-mails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files because the files may contain viruses.  Only open attachments from known senders.

Find out if the charity is providing direct aid or raising money for other groups that are active in the area of the earthquake.
Some charities may be raising money to pass along to relief organizations that are already active in the region.  If so, you may want to consider “avoiding the middleman” and giving directly to charities that have a presence in the affected area. Or, at a minimum, check out the ultimate recipients of these donations to ensure the organizations are equipped to effectively provide aid.

Be cautious when giving online.
Be cautious about online giving, especially in response to spam messages and emails that claim to link to a relief organization.  After other disasters, the BBB was contacted by consumers with concerns about many Web sites and new organizations that were created overnight allegedly to help victims.

If tax deduction is a concern, use the IRS as a resource.
To help ensure your contribution is tax deductible, the donation should be made to a U.S.-based charitable organization that is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Go to IRS Publication 78 on for a current list of all organizations eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable gifts.


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