Mar 30

A message from my friend, Stephanie –

Hello JoeTaxpayer readers! I’m Stephanie, and I blog over at Graduated Learning.  For the past few years, Joe has been incredibly generous by donating to the Walk for Hunger, providing challenge funds toward my fundraising efforts.  It’s been great having that extra push to get family and friends to donate to this very worthy cause.  I’m excited that he’s offered up a challenge for my 4th year doing the Walk!

So, here’s some quick information about the Walk for Hunger:
The Walk for Hunger is an annual fundraising event run by Project Bread.  It’s a 20-mile walk starting and ending in Boston where thousands of people come together to raise money to help feed our hungry neighbors with nutritious food!
And here’s the scoop on Joe’s challenge for this year:
When my fundraising efforts reach $1000, Joe will contribute $500.  And when we’ve raised $2000, Joe will add in another $500!  So grateful for his generosity!
You can check out my progress and donate at my fundraising page!
Any amount you contribute helps support this great cause.  Thanks so much for your help!
Note from Joe – as I wrote last year “Joe and Stephanie each have nearly 3000 twitter followers, and hundreds of Facebook and LinkedIn friends. Only one in 10 needs to donate $10 to help raise over $5000 this year. What’s great is that you don’t need to sit and write a check, you can go to the site and make a donation with a credit card. Every bit counts and will help to Feed the People!” Steph raised over $3300 last year, a great number for a single walker. This year I hope we can help her to hit $5000. Did I mention? Every bit counts!

written by Joe \\ tags: , ,

Mar 01

I’m back today, but with a guest post from my favorite puppy, Scooter –

It’s been a year since I guest posted Feed the People, and I’m sorry that I’m back this year. Sorry that there are still people in this country and within our state who still see this more often than they’d like:

dogbowl

When I see my empty bowl, my family taught me not to bark, because bark is for emergencies. I only need to sit by my bowl and they bring me my dinner, and even seconds if I am still hungry. It’s sad to me that 1 in 10 people struggle to put food on the table. Last year, our online friend, (they say that on the internet no one know if you are really a dog? Well, this friend is just the opposite, a 20-something MIT graduate with a heart of gold) Stephanie the Blogger, raised $2000 in a big event, Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger. My family was between jobs, but still helped out by matching $250 in donations, and helped to promote the event. You know what? A year later, the stock market is up 33%, but the hunger issue is still with us.

This year, I’m asking you to join in, and donate at the Project Bread site. This is what my family will do this year – When Stephanie hits $1000, Joe will donate $500, then at $2000, another $500. Here’s the plan – Joe and Stephanie each have nearly 3000 twitter followers, and hundreds of Facebook and LinkedIn friends. Only one in 10 needs to donate $10 to help raise over $5000 this year. What’s great is that you don’t need to sit and write a check, you can go to the site and make a donation with a credit card. Every bit counts and will help to Feed the People!

Love, Scooter

written by Joe \\ tags: ,

Apr 01

Today, I have a special guest post from my dog, Scooter –

When my family feeds me, I know I’m special. I don’t kid myself though, I know that there are people who go to bed hungry each night in this country. I know that if I were hungry and saw this, I’d be very sad.

dogbowl

I wanted to make sure that my friends all tell their families about a special group of people that are raising money to help feed those who don’t have enough to eat. It’s called Walk For Hunger and if you click on the link it will take you to a family friend’s page where Stephanie is helping to fight hunger. Her team’s name is Tired Dogs which is what made me think that even though I am just a puppy, I can help too. I asked my family to set aside a few dollars each week when they buy me food. Now, they have money they’d like to donate to this cause, and to help make this money go even further, they’re going to offer a matching challenge –

Before going to bed last night, they saw how much the Tired Dogs have raised so far and it was $545. Next Sunday night, they will check the total again and match up to $250 of the money you donated this week. So, when you read this, just be as generous as you can, and your donation will be matched this week. After all, I hope that we treat other people at least as well as we treat me, and I know I’m never hungry!

written by Joe \\ tags: ,

Jan 16

Two years ago, I wrote about donating your IRA RMD (The required minimum distribution you must take from your traditional IRA if you are over 70-1/2). This effectively gave people who were charitable, had to take RMDs, and for the most part, weren’t itemizing their deductions. Congress dragged its feet on this rule for 2012 up until after the New Year, and the IRS has published the rules for those who wish to take advantage of this in 2012.

To take advantage of the QCD (Qualified Charitable Distributions) for 2012 is a bit tricky. If you took your RMD in December, 2012, you can donate any or all of it (up to $100K per person) to a charity and have it count as a 2012 QCD.

If you wish, you can make your 2012 QCD by having your IRA distribution paid directly to the charity. But note, if you wish to make a 2013 QCD, you must wait until after January.

Note also – If you forgot to take your RMD for 2012, this is a pretty cool way to avoid paying Uncle Sam a penalty, and letting your favorite charity be the richer. Recall, a missed RMD comes with a 50% penalty, so between the tax and penalty, you may have as little as 15% left. Time to help that local Vet’s Shelter.

I’ve offered a quick overview of this rule, if you wish to read more, Charitable Donations from IRAs for 2012 and 2013 is the link to the IRS press release.

written by Joe \\ tags: ,

Oct 05

This past weekend was amazing for me. It was the first annual Financial Blogger Conference (#fincon11 if you are looking for tweets about it), organized by Phil Taylor, of PT Money and attended by 250 Personal Financial Bloggers. You may be one of them, or you might have read their work through my frequent Sunday Roundups.

I’ll have another article or two to bring stories from the conference, but today I want to share what we did Friday afternoon. One of my fellow bloggers, J Money from Budgets are Sexy is also the co-founder of Love Drop. From their site : Love Drop is a micro-giving network of people who unite as a community to help one person or family a month. By subscribing to the team for as little as $1, we make it easy for our members to change lives in a fun and tangible way. Each month Love Drop delivers a unique combination of unexpected financial gifts, personal encouragement and the support of local and online communities.

The first event of the afternoon was to perform a work of charity at Phil’s Friends. Phil’s Friends is a faith-based charity that provides support and comfort to those who are fighting cancer. They distribute care packages to patients and their families, organize fund raising events, and even help host concerts with the likes of Avalon, 33 Miles and Mark Schultz. The purpose of Phil’s Friends is “to bring hope.” People are diagnosed with cancer every day, and often have no place to turn. We all need comfort, peace, and joy, and Phil’s Friends seeks to provide this “hope” for everyone who needs it.

80 of us spent about two hours helping clean and organize the new office space, help assemble care packages, and write and address cards to cancer patients. You can see the YouTube Video if you’d like. You can see the excitement of this wonderful group of people and how just a bit of time multiplied by a bus of 80 of us can really make a difference to this charity.

written by Joe \\ tags: , ,