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Plan to lend a hand for the holidays

Lend a hand. It's good medicine.

The National Bureau of Economic Research said that the recession technically ended in June 2009, which is when business activity reached its low point and recovery began. 

Um, okay…

So while the recession technically may be over, the economy is still in a slump. This means a lot of families could use help again this coming holiday season.

Whether it’s through volunteering some of your time or a monetary gift, opportunities abound to help others during the holidays.  

Where should you volunteer?

Many charities and non-profits have volunteer opportunities, not only during the holidays, but year-round. Many of the services they provide cannot be done without the efforts of volunteers.  The key is to find an organization whose mission matches your beliefs and has opportunities that match you interests and skills.

A few places you can search out volunteer opportunities include:

You can also check with a local nursing home or hospital for volunteer opportunities. Some individuals in these places do not have families and even just taking some time to visit can help make their holiday – or regular day – a little bit nicer.

Monetary donations

If you do not have the time to volunteer, cash is always a welcome gift during the holidays. But before making a donation, consider the following:

  • Ensure the organization is legitimate.
    Choose charities you know. If you are not familiar with an organization, be sure to request additional information before making a donation. Legitimate charities will happily send information and won’t pressure you to give on the spot.
  • Learn how a charity spends its money.
    An efficient charity should spend 65 percent or more of the donations on its programs and services, instead of fundraising and administration.  You can research charities’ spending habits and tax filings by visiting the Charity Navigator or American Institute of Philanthropy websites.
  • Check to see if your donation is tax-deductible.
    Some organizations can appear like charities when they really aren’t. Consequently, your gift may not be deductible. To verify whether the organization to which you are donating is a legitimate charity, go the IRS Charity Search website.

What about AlignTech Solutions?

We encourage each of our employees to give back to their respective communities through volunteering time to their favorite charitable organizations, taking advantage of our matching gifts program and offering up their professional talents via pro bono work. Some of the organizations to which AlignTech Solutions’ employees donate time and resources include:

About Tim Holdsworth

Tim Holdsworth is a business analyst and marketing specialist for AlignTech Solutions.

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