Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide Day 1: Big Help for Modest Needs

Modest Needs works to keep families and individuals from going under financially. Images from Modest Needs Web site.

HEAD’S UP: Is it December already? YES, it is. In many parts of the world that means it is holiday gifting season. For many, the very idea presents a little conundrum. They have no idea what to gift, poor things! These are the very souls that the elves at VEVLYN’S PEN endeavor to lend a hand. We’re starting a bit early this year with our humble Holiday Gift Guide, because the spirit hit us and … well … we’re filled with the spirit! From today through 24 Dec., every day or every other day or so – willy-nilly, actually – we will introduce one or a series of products/services, items and brands that we believe would make a smashing holiday gift(s). And (as the old saying goes) … we’re off!!!

“JUST to think that someone would care enough to respond and make my life a little easier after enduring so much loss in the last year is truly touching,” are the sentiments of a Massachusetts single mother of two who needs $240 for bi-focals.

An individual who suffers in part from post-traumatic stress syndrome recently landed a job with a forestry agency in Minnesota. Standing in the way of this opportunity is $580 required for commercial liability insurance.

These individuals are among the thousands who have turned to Modest Needs for help because it is not available from any other corner. Visit http://www.bit.ly/nPtDsF to read about more requests.

Modest Needs is a do-gooder, nonprofit organization whose mission is “to promote self-sufficiency of the working poor” in the United States and Canada. Alas, with the Great Recession, that definition has expanded to include folk who once considered themselves middle income.

Modest Needs aims to keep off the streets and out of the poorhouse those individuals and families that many philanthropic organizations may deem a little too well off for their assistance. The 10-year-old organization offers various grants for Applicants and giving schemes for Donors. To that end, it is worth a visit for anybody on the giving or receiving end of help.

It’s all very simple. Applicants begin by learning about the available grants and eligibility requirements. Among the grants are a Self Sufficiency Grant and also a Hurricane Sandy Relief Grant. The next step is creating an online account and completing the application. If everything is in order, help can be on the way in as little as 10 days, though if needs are more immediate the process can be expedited. (See video below of Modest Needs Programs Director Megan Boyle on a New York morning show explaining the hurricane relief program.)

Modest Needs takes pain to point out, however, that it is not equipped to help those who need help NOW, or else. For example, if the sheriff is coming to evict you tomorrow, it is not possible for Modest Needs to step in.

Modest Needs is an organization that relies on the kindness of strangers aka Donors to help people such as the Washington couple who is short $571.00 for their dog’s vet bill. Already, $330 has been donated.

New or returning Donors have any numbers of ways to help. They can purchase a gift certificate in varying amounts (https://www.modestneeds.org/giftcertificates/purchase/). There is, too, the option of donating online Now (http://www.bit.ly/SOv0hA).

Using this method, Donors can even indicate how they woud like their donation to be spent. For instance, to the Hurricane Sandy Relief Program, for which there are $150,000 worth of matching funds.

Like Applicants, Donors can set up an account. When donating online Now, they can indicate the desire to have Modest Needs donations forwarded to their personal account for them to decide how to gift them later. Donors can also direct Modest Needs to put the donations in the organization’s General Fund for use when most needed. Donations to the Emergency Fund go to meet what is termed critical, time-sensitive needs.

Donors have the option of purchasing Modest Needs gift certificates.

While Modest Needs will help with that, that and that, it won’t help with that. That includes rent deposits (but not actual rent) and utility deposits, as well as tax liabilities, parking tickets and other scofflaw obligations. Also not funded are credit card bills (though a case can be made for helping with the latter. Many unemployed, for instance, have had little choice but to charge groceries and rent payments).

Yet there is a whole host of other things that Modest Needs will help with, for this outfit is not made up of a bunch of Scrooges. Just ask the Texas wife who requested several hundred dollars to pay for her household’s electricity bill incurred during a long, unseasonably hot summer in the Dallas suburb of DeSoto. Modest Needs sent a check to the utility company in the amount of $519.95. (http:www.bit.ly/VunbTc)

“I would like to thank each and everyone one of you for your amazing gift of generosity, it is greatly appreciated,” are the wife’s warm words.

Visit https://www.modestneeds.org to learn more about Modest Needs.

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