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Charitable giving in the first half of 2020 increased by almost 7.5 percent over the first half of last year, according to researchers at the Chronicle of Philanthropy. This trend, by many estimates, is on course to continue.

While there are many reasons why we give, a wide-ranging survey by Fidelity Charitable reports that Americans have stepped up their monetary donations this year in large part as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With food banks overrun in many communities today, donations to these local and regional organizations are appreciated. Other charities that need help now include many that provide for children, families and the elderly:

  • Toys for Tots – Run by the U.S. Marine Corp, Toys for Tots collects new, unwrapped toys and distributes them to less-fortunate children up to age 16. You can purchase and drop off toys at local toy drops or donate money online via the Toys for Tots website. 
  • Salvation Army Angel Tree – In collaboration with the Salvation Army, most Walmart stores have Christmas trees that have tags on them. Each tag has the wish list of a specific child. Donors pick an angel tag, shop for gifts (not necessarily at Walmart) and drop off the gifts for the Salvation Army to distribute.
  • Payaway the Layaway – With your donations, representatives of this organization visit retailers including Kmart, Walmart and the armed forces exchange services and surprise families by paying off their remaining layaway balance. To donate, visit PayawaytheLayaway.org. 
  • Donations for the elderly – Seniors without families often experience lonely and gift-less holiday seasons. Call a local nursing home to get the names of suggested residents for whom you can prepare a gift basket or go to SecondWindDreams.com to learn how your donation can help fulfill the wish of a senior who dreams of a favorite book, a remembered food and even a meal from a special restaurant.

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