With the 2017 Press Christmas for All fundraising campaign now underway, here are some frequently asked questions ó and answers ó about the program, which is now in its 32nd year.
QUESTION: Is my donation tax deductible?
ANSWER: Yes. Press Christmas for All is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. Its Employer Identification Number is 82-0497747.
Q: You say that every penny donated goes to needy Kootenai County families. What about overhead?
A: The Hagadone Corp. pays for all incidentals, and a small army of volunteers ensures that the program operates without any payroll or other expenses. In fact, your donation grows, rather than shrinks. Super 1 Foods and Shopko contribute an additional 10 percent of whatever is raised each year. In other words, if Press Christmas for All donors pitch in $200,000, Super 1 and Shopko donations will bring the total to $220,000.
Q: Unemployment is near record-low levels. Not to sound too Scrooge-like, but if somebody needs a job, they can get one. So why should I give them my hard-earned money?
A: That does sound a bit Scrooge-like, but itís a fair question. And hereís the answer: Because many people are already working one or more jobs that simply donít pay enough to support a family. Press Christmas for All assists the needy in our community, which very much includes the working poor. Studies have shown that upward of one-third of Kootenai Countyís population ó 44 percent in Coeur díAlene ó hovers somewhere around the poverty line. By the time many of these residents pay for rent, food and other necessities, there simply isnít enough left over for Christmas.
Q: Who else besides the working poor get help?
A: Youíre sounding less Scrooge-like already. Retired veterans are on the list, as are elderly couples who want only enough to buy their spouse a small gift or share a hearty Christmas Day meal.
Q: How does somebody go about asking for help, and what precautions do you have to avoid fraud?
A: Only Kootenai County residents are eligible, and they must submit a detailed application that includes information on all members of the family who will be assisted by the program, why help is needed this year, and more. Volunteers at Kootenai County Fire & Rescue maintain a database of all applications going back years. When there are discrepancies on applications, cross-checking helps weed out attempted fraud.
Q: How much cash does a recipient actually get?
A: They donít get cash; all recipients receive Super 1 Foods or Shopko gift cards. The amount weíre able to give varies based on how much is donated, but on average, recipients get $25 or more per person in the family. Itís not much, but it can make all the difference between a merry little Christmas and no Christmas at all.
Q: How can I help?
A: Thatís the spirit! Mail a check to:
Press Christmas for All
215 N. Second St.
Coeur díAlene, ID 83814
Or you can call 208-664-8176 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays to make a secure credit card donation.
The fundraising goal is $170,000. Please help us emphatically answer the hardest question of all ó the one posed by little children in your neighborhood or community.
Q: Will Santa come to our house this year?