Friday, February 28, 2020

Spring Cleaning With Charitable Twist

Spring Cleaning With Charitable Twist
By Melinda Gustafson Gervasi
February 28, 2020

Recent headlines applaud Rock Star John Oates, of the duo Hall & Oates, who will auction off a vintage race car to benefit the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Foundation through RM Sothebys on March 8th. The media does a wonderful job of casting the spotlight on millionaires and their 6 or 7 figure charitable donations.  My wish is the media would also sprinkle in a few stories about middle class Americans who are also philanthropic.  That's why I wrote Middle Class Philanthropist: How anyone can leave a legacy in 2013.  A small book, it is designed to encourage everyday people to consider an end of life gift to a favorite non-profit.  But we don't need to wait until we are gone to be charitable, nor do we need a vintage race car.

We are poised to enter March, the month when yard and garage sales sprout here in my hometown of Madison, Wisconsin, in 48 hours.  The snow continues to cover the ground, but Midwesterners turn their faces toward the rising sun, sense a whiff of Spring, and get restless.  At the same time, many of us have become familiar with the Swedish Death Cleaning movement, which caught on with the Simplify Your Life trends.  While Swedish Death Cleaning focuses heavily on purging before you die, anyone can benefit from a purge.  After all, you'll either move or die.  One way or another you (or someone) needs to figure out what to do with all your stuff.

Spring presents a great time to clean out what you no longer need, and be charitable at the same time.  It's simple -- put together a yard or garage sale with all proceeds benefiting your favorite nonprofit.  Advertise the fact it is going to a "good cause" and have literature about the organization on hand.  Salute the fact that we can all make a difference in this world -- vintage race car not required.

Thank you for reading, and remember a blog post is intended to spark though and conversation.  It is not legal advice, nor should it be viewed that way.  Please consult an attorney in your home state for legal advice specific to your situation. 

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