Tag Archives: Tom Kovach

A cup of cold water in Jesus’ name

NEW YEAR, NEW HOPE, NEW CHALLENGES: A Blog Series

By: Tom Kovach, Major Gifts Director

And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.  Matthew 10:42

Energizer employees help build a playground at The Salvation Army's Temple Community Center.

The sounds of laughter and the look of raw emotions on faces is filling the rooms inside a Salvation Army Education and Community Center as children and adults rejoice in the Lord’s blessing and the fellowship of each other. Smiles abound for some, tears of sadness or even joy for others or the journey to a new beginning starts today.   Stories are shared.  Prayers are abundant and many turn to The Salvation Army for hope.  These God-filled activities are repeated daily at our centers from South County to North City, Midtown to Overland and Maplewood to South City.

The Salvation Army takes tremendous pride in serving clients because we stress the importance of our fiduciary role.  Eighty two cents of each dollar contributed is spent for programs and services. The cornerstone of The Salvation Army includes a quality staff ready to serve the needs of these clients yet our demands our growing.  Much like a play or a movie, there are numerous, important supporting roles that play a vital role to helping change lives.

And that’s why you and your colleagues inside your company can help.  Our promise to you is simple: you will make a difference. 

No matter where you work or live, between your commutes from one destination to another, we are looking for volunteers from companies in St. Louis at any of our Salvation Army Community Centers.  I encourage you to get involved as an individual, your family or gather up a group of volunteers from your company.   Donating your time can be range from serving Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners to the following:

  • Have numerous office supplies like pens, pencils, notepads, markers etc?  Donate them to The Salvation Army.  Our Temple and Euclid Corps have existing partnerships with the St. Louis Public Schools for instance.
  • At our Family Haven shelter, there are 20 rooms where women and children rest comfortably as they seek permanent housing. These clients stay in a room for several months. We are consistently looking for laundry detergent and cleaning supplies.
  • Clients come to us when they are seeking some form of counseling.  At times, these counseling sessions are designated for a parent(s) and because they can’t afford childcare, we are looking for volunteers to watch their children for an hour or so.  (All mandatory background checks are required for childcare). 
  • Instead of receiving gifts for a birthday or a special occasion, request monetary contributions be directed to The Salvation Army or ask friends/family to buy certain items. Each of our centers has a “Wish List” that we can provide for you.

    Ameren employees donated more than 400 hours in 2011 to bellring for The Salvation Army.

Help us help others!  Consider “Doing The Most Good” in 2012 and start the New Year off right with a thoughtful donation and volunteer.

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Remember to “Stock Gifts” Under the Tree this Christmas Season

by Timothy Henry, Planned Giving Director & Tom Kovach, Major Gifts Director

Are you looking for a way to increase your giving to our Tree of Lights Campaign without disposing of additional cash?   Does the idea of receiving a double tax break when you donate to The Salvation Army sound appealing?

Consider making a gift of appreciated securities.

Amid the current economic uncertainly in the United States and Europe, the U.S. stock market is in flux and the week of November 28 was no exception.  All three major averages posted a gain of over 7 percent last week yet stocks erased most of their earlier gains on Friday to finish near the flat-line as investors booked profits before last weekend. Meanwhile Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis, which has dragged on for more than two years, is entering a pivotal week, as leaders across the continent converge to prevent a collapse of the euro and a financial panic from spreading.

Following economic news developments is important but nothing is more crucial today than making a difference through a donation of appreciated securities to The Salvation Army.   By gifting appreciated stock or mutual funds to our Tree of Lights campaign, you could potentially save $1,000 in taxes on a $5,000 donation.  The benefits of appreciated stock gifts are two-fold:  receive a charitable deduction and avoid capital gain tax treatment. 

This gifting approach often allows more “bang” for your charitable buck!

First, gifts of appreciated securities are eligible for an itemized charitable deduction on your tax return — the same as a cash donation. Instead of deriving the amount of the charitable deduction from the amount of cash given, the charitable deduction is calculated based on the Fair Market Value (commonly known as the “FMV”) of the number of shares given to The Salvation Army on the date of gift.  Second the gift of appreciated stock allows you to escape recognizing capital gain treatment of the shares.

Please ensure the appreciated stock you select has been held for more than one year and consult with your financial planner or CPA to decide if this gifting strategy is right for you. 

If you would like to make gift of appreciated securities before December 31, you or your broker may call our office at 314-646-3016 or 314-646-3019 and ask for Tim Henry (timothy_henry@usc.salvationarmy.org) or Tom Kovach (tom_kovach@usc.salvationarmy.org).

A tip of the cap from Scrooge…

by Tom Kovach, Major Gifts Director

In the Sunday’s Business edition of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the headline reads: Worthy charities earn Scrooge’s nod. It was written by Jim Gallagher, a well respected columnist for the newspaper.  Mr. Gallagher starts the article off by saying the older he gets, the more like Scrooge he becomes. He takes this approach to charity for 11 months of the year. 

Then after Thanksgiving, a strange malady overcomes him and Mr. Gallagher writes: “A warm and giddy feeling (a fever, perhaps?) grips me, and before I regain my senses, I write a bunch of checks. The Salvation Army, the St. Louis Area Foodbank, a couple of homeless shelters……” He goes on to pen that “we sufferers from Seasonal Charity Disorder need professional help.”  Mr. Gallagher is open and humorous with how he feels about giving to charity but the most important point the article made was: “When that warm and giddy check-writing impulses grips you, be sure you’re giving to charities that really do what they promise.”

Our promise to you is to continue to be accountable and transparent.  Eighty two cents on the dollars is distributed to programs and services in the St. Louis area and The Salvation Army takes a tremendous amount of care with your investment.  For example, the area that I specialize is major gifts and they come in all sizes from corporations to individuals and the best way to describe the collage of our donors was at the recent Tree of Lights kickoff luncheon.  A potpourri of donors were present- Edward Jones, St. Louis Design Alliance, St. Louis Equity Fund, AT&T, Albert Arno Heating and Cooling just to name a few.  New and current Salvation Army Midland Division board members mingled with guests.   This event was a mixture of brand new investors to The Salvation Army and our dear friends who have supported The Salvation Army for many years.

Whether you are a first-time donor or you make your gift in December each year, I highly encourage you to open and read prior testimonies from our social media pages to actually see how we make a difference in people’s lives!  The Salvation Army is a charity that really does what we promise.  Read what we do from these moving stories written by our Contest Specialist Danni Eickenhorst, officers and staff members, then decide at what level you think we are worth—it can be $50, $100, a dollar a day ($365), $2,500, a gift of stock, IRA contribution or much more.

You will find and rest assured your donation to The Salvation Army – no matter at what level– to be a positive, uplifting return on investment for the St. Louis region.

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