By Charles Redding, MedShare CEO & President
This year has been one of the most unprecedented years in history. Beyond the obvious impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 63 million people affected worldwide and close to 1.5 million deaths, communities around the world have been ravaged by fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, typhoons, as well as human-caused disasters. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy reports that in 2020:
- The humanitarian crisis in Yemen has continued to devastate an impoverished community where an estimated 80 percent of the population require some form of humanitarian or protection assistance, including 14.3 million people who are in acute need;
- There have been 31 tropical depressions of which 30 became tropical storms. Thirteen became hurricanes, including six major hurricanes which claimed the lives of over 400 people and inflicted billions of dollars of damage on communities that could least afford it;
- There have been 9,279 fire incidents in California in 2020 with more than 4 million acres burned, 10,488 structures damaged or destroyed, and at least 31 fatalities as of November 19. The 4.2 million acres burned in 2020 are the most in a single year since CalFire began keeping records, and more than in the last three years combined;
- Typhoon Goni killed at least 20 people and displaced 400,000 people when it made landfall three separate times across the Philippines on November 1. It was the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone on record in the Philippines and impacted two million people. Just 10 days later, the Philippines was hit by Typhoon Vamco, the 21st cyclone to hit the country this year. Making matters worse, the Philippines was then hit by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake on November 16th;
- Millions of refugees have fled Venezuela due to extreme unemployment, coupled with severe challenges accessing daily necessities such as food and medication. There is a critical shortage of medical personnel with 55% resigning or leaving the country. As a result, maternal and infant mortality rates are high and increasing, and COVID-19 has pushed health care and economic systems beyond their ability to effectively handle the number of displaced, vulnerable and potentially infected people;
- The blast in Beirut resulted in more than 70% of Beirut buildings being damaged or destroyed. At least 70,000 homes were damaged, many of which are no longer habitable, leaving at least 300,000 homeless. The hospitals, already dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, were quickly stretched to capacity, and
- Since December of last year, 2,455 earthquakes have occurred in southern Puerto Rico. These include the strongest earthquakes in Puerto Rico in over a century. The initial damage estimate is more than $3 billion with extensive property damage and loss of life;
While many of these devastating events are not widely known, they continue to add to the worldwide demand for humanitarian aid. MedShare’s focus on disaster preparedness and readiness to respond prior to a disaster occurring has been critical to our ability to respond quickly to many of these disasters. Additionally, the generosity of countless donors and supporters has ensured that we have the resources to respond to these global crises in a meaningful way.
Many nonprofits, like MedShare, simply could not do the work that we do without your contributions. With everything going on at the end of the year, we often forget about the importance of planning for year-end gifts. Your gifts, whether large or small, are vital to the organizations you support. Your generosity at year-end helps nonprofits to start the New Year off right and maximize our impact!
Each gift you make to MedShare will touch the lives of the patients, medical professionals, and families we serve. Thoughtfully consider your plans for giving this year. Think about what you’d like to give, how you’d like to give, and when you’d like to give. In doing so, you can ensure the greatest impact for you and the organizations you support. Here are some helpful tips to maximize your impact:
- Save all gift receipts and acknowledgment letters for tax purposes.
- Complete your giving before midnight December 31, 2020, in order to make your charitable contributions tax deductible for 2020.
- Gifts of stock that have increased in value may provide greater tax savings than giving cash.
- Required Minimum Distributions (RMD). If you are over 70½ and own a Traditional IRA account, you must take your RMD prior to 12/31. If you inherited an IRA, you may be required to take a distribution even if you are younger than 70½.
- An IRA Charitable Rollover allows individuals over 70½ to donate up to $100,000 directly from their Individual Retirement Account (IRA), without treating the distribution as taxable income.
- Putting MedShare in your will or estate plans is a simple way to give! Contact our Development Team at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
- Please consult your tax advisor.
End your year by making a meaningful difference in the lives of others. The people you serve will thank you! We at MedShare THANK YOU!