Another look at midyear tax moves
Hawaii finally issuing 2009 tax refunds

Heat wave calls for cool charitable gifts

I really feel for the folks in the Northeast who are in the grips of an historic heat wave. Record temperatures are being hit all across the region and power grids are near the breaking point. 

Here in Central Texas, we dealt with a similar weather pattern last year. The persistent high pressure system produced triple-digit thermometer readings throughout last summer, making June through August 2009 our hottest season on record.

Here's hoping that this current NE heat wave isn't as tenacious as ours was and that my friends and family up there in that corner of the country won't have to suffer through 100-plus readings for much longer.

But even when things cool down, relatively speaking, typical summer days are uncomfortable, and sometimes downright deadly, for folks who aren't prepared.

That's why I'm thrilled to see programs like Austin Family Eldercare's fan drive.

Fan_dog_charity Now in its 20th year, the annual summer fan drive distributes cooling devices to low-income elders, adults with disabilities and families with children. Since its inception, the program has provided more than 55,000 fans and 700 air conditioners to more than 25,000 households.

I bet your community has something similar.

Even if it doesn't, there probably are nonprofit groups that open their doors during the hot days so that folks without air conditioning or fans can come into some welcome cool air.

If you've got a few bucks to spare, I urge you to direct it now to charitable groups that are helping folks literally survive this heat.

And while I know it's not why you'll donate a fan or money, remember that you might be able to claim a tax deduction for your cool charitable gift.

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