My wife Nancy and I went to see “A Christmas Carol” at Kansas City Repertory Theatre a couple of weeks ago. It was an excellent production with some new theatrical elements we had not seen before. Everyone knows the story about Ebenezer Scrooge and his encounters with the three spirits of Christmas and his enlightenment about the true nature of Christmas and the joy of giving. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and walked out truly feeling in the Christmas Spirit.
I have the privilege to serve our Eastern Jackson County community as the president and CEO of the Truman Heartland Community Foundation. As I think about the individuals we serve, it occurs to me that they have the Spirit of Christmas in their hearts throughout the year and truly understand the joy of giving. We have the opportunity to serve some of the most giving and caring people in our community whose generosity with their time, talents and treasure are making a difference in the lives of thousands in our community. They are the Spirit of Christmas Present in Charles Dickens’ lexicon.
One bit of current news on charitable giving for those in the giving spirit: The President on Dec. 19 signed a Tax Extenders Bill that again allows individuals 701/2 or older to make a contribution directly from their IRA to a qualified charity. This gift, of up to $100,000, counts toward the required minimum distribution and is not taxable, but the gift must be made by Dec. 31. If you have questions about what is referred to as the IRA Charitable Rollover, please give us a call.
The pause between Christmas and the New Year is a great time to hopefully catch our breath from the hustle and bustle of the season, remember what is most important and reconnect with our priorities. Many people also make New Year’s resolutions during this time and ideally these resolutions are related to our priorities and what’s truly important in our lives.
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As you ponder your New Year’s resolutions this year, if one of your resolutions is to do more to give back to your community, make a note to contact us at your community foundation. Our business is really all about serving people who want to give back to their community and helping them do it more effectively and tax wise. We would be pleased to sit down and talk with you about how we can help you fulfill your New Year’s resolution to do more to give back to your community and help you enjoy the Spirit of Christmas throughout the year. Happy New Year!
Phil Hanson is president and CEO of the Truman Heartland Community Foundation, which serves the Lee’s Summit area.