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Opinion: Your individual charitable gifts mean plenty

Traditionally, December becomes the most active month of the year for charitable giving. You’ll notice that for sure when you get phone calls, letters and emails from a variety of nonprofits and hear special calls for contributions in meetings or worship services. 

I imagine you have wondered, “Does my personal gift really mean anything?” Possibly you have assumed that most of the nation’s contributed dollars come from highly publicized foundations and corporations or government grants. Yet that assumption — which I made myself before I became involved in philanthropy professionally for two decades — is a mistake. Let’s look at the facts. 

The National Philanthropic Trust reported that in 2020 Americans contributed $471 billion dollars to charity. Giving by individuals totaled $324 billion, a remarkable 69% of the total. Note too that individual giving totals have increased five of the last six years. 

Readers of The Times are very blessed because we have dozens of charitable service organizations in our community that provide help, hope and happiness to individuals and families with a variety of needs. Every one of these philanthropic causes depends on our generosity to maintain — and hopefully increase — their special type of care. 

Before December ends, I’ll contribute to a few area nonprofits that make life better for hundreds of our citizens day by day. I encourage you to do the same. My gift and yours mean plenty.

Bill Lampton