Making a Smart Investment

Help others in need this holiday season through the United Way

We all know the old expression, “a stitch in time saves nine.” United Way embraces this philosophy with its focus on prevention when tackling social issues like child poverty.

Acting early on a problem is the most effective strategy, and it’s also a good return on your investment. Studies show that a $1 investment in early childhood education can yield a long-term economic return of $1.50 to $3 and more.

The brain undergoes highly intensive development during the early years, meaning that the brain is most sensitive to its environment and requires proper stimulation, attention and nutrition. Children are active learners and the brain during the early years is like a sponge: it absorbs everything. The way a child’s brain develops impacts his or her overall cognitive, social and emotional development. When a child is exposed to a stimulating environment, they develop and learn more. When a child receives more appropriate emotional support, they are more likely to thrive. The result of these investments is that fewer children in the Lower Mainland are likely to fall into the trap of lifelong poverty.

Right now in B.C., one in five children lives in poverty. If we want a strong social, economic and political foundation for our region, province and country, we must support the development of our communities’ youngest children. For these reasons, United Way is committed to ensuring children have the best possible start in life.

Back to your investment. When you consider the tax credits that you’ll realize by making a charitable donation, the math works even more in your favour.

Combined federal and provincial charitable income tax credits are 20 per cent on the first $200 of your donation and 43.7 per cent on amounts above $200. Donors who have not contributed to any charity since 2007 may qualify for a new “super credit” which allows for a 40 per cent credit for the first $200 and 54 per cent for amounts between $200 and $1,000. This means that if you haven’t given to any charity since 2007, or this is your first time giving, a $1,000 new donation in B.C. would qualify for a credit of $640 (including provincial tax credits).

Make a donation to United Way before the 2013 tax deduction deadline of December 31. Your gift can help support more than 150 organizations and 450 programs in the Lower Mainland to prevent child poverty, bullying and senior isolation. Be smart and help others this holiday season.