Editorial: Giving season

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Salt Spring Islanders are a generous lot, as illustrated by the many stories of community contributions published in our paper each year.

The Salt Spring Foundation’s biannual grant disbursement report published this week underscores both how generous islanders are in supporting the foundation in the first place, and how important the foundation is to local charities. The most recent grants, totalling more than $85,000, will help projects as diverse as creation of a rainwater capture system at the new Meadowlane seniors residence to an updated sound system for Mahon Hall to a spring break craft program for kids at the library.

As of one year ago, the foundation’s Community Endowment Fund held $7.2 million. In 2017 it received $432,138 in donations and bequests and disbursed $237,000 to enhance the work of not-for-profit community groups on Salt Spring.

Similarly, the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation recently reported that it has $6 million in accumulated funds and is committed to contributing in a major way to a new emergency room at the hospital. Two of its fundraisers — the Phantom Ball, which began 22 years ago, and the charity golf tournament, initiated in 1991 — have between them brought in almost $1.6 million over the years. Islanders continue to provide solid support for the island’s much appreciated hospital facilities in donations and bequests.

Contributing to worthwhile causes not only feels good, but Canadian income tax laws are a decent incentive to donate, especially if one’s total donations exceed $200 in a reporting period. With less than two weeks left in 2018, now is the time for people to make those last-minute donations to organizations that can issue tax receipts. Remember too that donation amounts can be carried over for five years.

As the Salt Spring Foundation and Lady Minto Hospital Foundation so clearly demonstrate when they report to the community on the groups and projects they benefit, a little money can go a long way to make a big difference in the lives of our friends, neighbours and family members.

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