Tomorrow will officially be December – and today is Giving Tuesday – which for many people means the start of the holiday season, traditionally the season of giving. And while giving during this time of year often involves holiday gifts, it doesn’t have to be limited to buying new Christmas socks for dad or cozy, comfy slippers for Aunt Kate. As this special day of generosity shows, it can also mean giving to causes and charities that strive to serve those in need.
New studies attest to the benefits of giving, not just for the recipients but for the givers’ health and happiness. Giving makes us feel good about ourselves and others. Giving promotes cooperation and social connection. Giving evokes gratitude. Giving can be contagious. Giving is what makes us human.
This certainly isn’t news to UCT members who are busy making a difference in their communities through giving to individuals, programs, and organizations year-round. Members are already stepping up their holiday efforts by adopting families for the holidays, filling the shelves of food pantries, donating clothes and coats to homeless shelters, and supporting The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign. We are so very grateful for these efforts. However, I’d like to point out one more charity that could use some support on Giving Tuesday and during this season and beyond: UCT Charities.
UCT Charities was established in 1997 to help support programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The fund has grown over the years to assist a variety of worthy programs and organizations including the UCT Scholarship Program for those wishing to teach people with special needs and the new Bridges of Friendship Award for charitable organizations serving others, but it needs the support of you and your local councils to continue making a difference.
UCT Charities is supported entirely through donations, and that’s where all of you come in. Contributions may be made by individuals or groups and are recognized in an appropriate manner. Donations to the fund are cumulative, allowing donors like you to move up in giving levels, and may be tax deductible, depending on each donor’s tax status. Contributions to the fund may be made by sending checks made payable to UCT Charities to: UCT, 1801 Watermark Drive, Suite 100, Columbus, OH 43215.
In addition to straight-up donations, there are several different ways to give to UCT Charities. One of them is to purchase a life insurance policy that names the fund as beneficiary upon your death. This option holds the funds in an irrevocable trust and, depending upon tax status, can allow you to deduct the cost of the policy’s premiums. Other options include contributing to the fund in memory of a deceased loved one or member or donating in honor of a special person or an event such as a birthday or anniversary.
On Giving Tuesday and throughout the year, your contribution to UCT Charities can mean a world of difference to a student struggling to pay tuition, a teacher striving for certification to teach kids with disabilities, or a community organization focused on helping the sick, the elderly, the homeless, the hungry. And whether you give now or at some time in the future, don’t be surprised if you find yourself benefiting from a big dose of happiness in the process.