Haha. This donation thing was supposed to be a small quick-collect, help someone out, feel good, move on to something new tomorrow kind of event. With more than $11,500 of donations now, it has turned into a lot more than that! Which is beyond awesome.
But I also wasn’t prepared for such a response (as I mentioned in my post The People, The Dog, and the Ass).
Today I have spent a lot of time communicating with people who know the ins and outs of government assistance. I’ve been discussing how to do this with an accountant. I’ve read every comment and suggestion you all have made in regards to what we could do with this money.
There are a few hard facts that I hadn’t thought about before all this.
1) Government assistance programs are setup so that people get booted off the system if they receive too much in money or gifts. The only way a large sum (gifts or money) wouldn’t affect this family’s benefits is if everything wasn’t reported, and while I can’t decide anything for them, I have to assume that they will do everything by the book.
2) I have to run the funds through a 501(c)(3) (non-profit organization) or I could see some heavy personal tax liability on these funds. I can do this, without any effect on what has come in, but it will take a little time to find a good non-profit organization and to line everything up legitimately. I was originally planning to just pay a little tax on the money (when I only expected a little to come in), but at this amount I don’t have the money to do so and I have to be careful about how I go about this so that I don’t end up in trouble because of it.
3) I can’t know what to do and what properly to do without knowing this family’s specific situation when it comes to what will and won’t help them. In other words, I can’t just show up with a check. At this point it would be irresponsible.
Because of all that, this is what I’ve decided is going to happen.
But before I tell you, let me mention that it is okay for you to email me and ask for a refund for your donation if you’re not comfortable with my decision of how to spend your funds. If you made a donation with one thing in mind, I will not hold it against you at all if you aren’t onboard anymore. Refunding is simple, just be sure to give me the email address and name you used to make your donation. I hope most of the donations stay in place though because, while there are more hoops to jump through than I knew of, this money is going to make a big difference in these people’s lives.
Continued on next page.