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One More Thing Before I Go

Before I head out the door and back into retirement, I wanted to share a few thoughts about the Sonora Area Foundation and our non-profit community.

Prior to coming to the Foundation in 2011, I thought that I really knew “my” county – born and raised here, raised a family of my own, enjoyed a career and then, an encore career.  It was then that I found out how much I really knew (or more accurately, what I didn’t know).

Did you know that there are over 120 exempt organizations – public charities, private foundations, or supporting organizations – that are eligible to receive tax deductible, charitable donations that are located just in the Sonora area?  Most perform services that extend countywide, and when including those in Sonora area, there are over 200 such organizations spread throughout Tuolumne County.

Our non-profit organizations are the life blood of the community – for example, they feed, clothe, and shelter; provide sports and other athletic programming; are sources for learning outside of the formal education framework; enlighten with the arts and entertainment; preserve our history; mentor our youth; support science and technology; protect animals; or create open spaces for all to enjoy.  If you are familiar with the Foundation, you know that we work with donors wishing to give back to our community, make grants that improve our lives and provide leadership on community issues, generally to the benefit of our non-profit community.

Although some organizations may have a paid staff, many are run by volunteers who wear multiple hats to insure the success of their non-profit.

So, after writing almost fifty blogs over the past five years, I’m going to make “the ask” one more time – as we head into the “giving season” of Thanksgiving and Christmas, our non-profit community would like to hear from you with a tax deductible, charitable donation.  Your gift, whether made through the Foundation or direct to the non-profit of your choice, is needed, always appreciated and will be used responsibly.  As you are figuring out your end of the year charitable donations, let’s try to keep them local this year.

A friend of my son, Andy Boyd, has this to say about his work with challenged athletes – “Everyone wants to be connected and part of something.  Never underestimate the value of human connection or undervalue the pain of being marginalized.”

So many of our non-profits work to complete those vital human connections and reduce the pain of marginalization.  Now, it’s up to you to take the next step and give.