Make a year end gift to your neighborhood

As 2011 nears the end, financial planners recommend that you look for ways to reduce your tax obligations for the year. For most non-profit organizations, the deadline that rolls around on New Year’s Eve is a target date for individuals to make a tax-exempt contribution that both helps the non-profit and yields a tax benefit for the individual donor.

For many, a contribution to their church or favorite charity is an obvious choice and sometimes people just need that one last reminder to make a donation before the clock strikes midnight and the new year begins. There are all sorts of good causes that urgently need your assistance. Here’s a look at a few close to home that absolutely deserve our assistance:

• Established in 1867, the Cedar Grove Cemetery has embarked on an ambitious plan to plant new tress across its land. Many of the majestic old trees are well into old age and the cemetery’s staff and board have begun replacing them with new saplings to ensure the natural beauty of this treasure along the banks of the Neponset endures. For a tax-deductible donation of $500, a tree can be planted in memory of a deceased loved one. Call the cemetery office 617- 825-1360 to make a pledge.

• The Dorchester Historical Society received a challenge grant of $5,000 from an anonymous donor and is seeking other donors to match that amount. At mid-week, the society was within $800 of its goal. In an appeal this week, DHS president Earl Taylor said, “We have until December 31st to achieve this match. … Please e-mail me at to let me know that you will be sending a contribution.”

• The Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester remain one of the neighborhood’s most important institutions. The club’s campus in Savin Hill serves thousands of kids and teens year-round with access to more than 200 programs and services. Membership remains just $5 per year — there is absolutely no better deal in town.

Please consider making a year-end donation to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester, 1135 Dorchester Ave,
Dorchester, MA, 02125. Or go to their website at

• Project DEEP — which stands for the Dorchester Educational Enrichment Program— does an excellent job preparing young people for top-notch educational opportunities. The program is run out of the Murphy School on Worrell Street. DEEP’s after-school tutoring program provides essential help to kids in the neighborhood who need extra help in their studies. For just $100, you can sponsor a kid for the whole year. Go to or call 617-635-5027.

• The Leahy-Holloran Community Center in Neponset is another outstanding facility that benefits the youth of our neighborhood with affordable and fun activities throughout the year. The facility is owned by the city, but a volunteer board labors year-round to raise funds and program special events for the benefit of the wider community. It’s a tough climate in which to raise funds, but the center has been diligent in its work. This weekend, they are planning the first-ever ‘Polar Bear Plunge’ to raise money for the community center’s programs. (For details on the event and how you can contribute, see Page 7.)

The above list is a good start. But, no matter where you send your gift, please consider doing it before the calendar turns. The non-profits that help make our neighborhood work can truly use your help.

– Ed Forry

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