Everyone loves Girl Scout cookies, even though they aren’t made from real Girl Scouts, as Wednesday Adams once so smugly pointed out. My favorites are Tagalongs and Do-Si-Dos. I’d like to say that every time I buy a box of the cookies I think back with fond memories of my days as a Girl Scout, but, instead, I remember being nervous about having to sell them and hoping I could win a camera with the incentives system.
I’m been thinking of a special day — for me alone, that is. This past week, on Oct. 28, is the day 70 years ago that I was married at Fort Wolters, Mineral Wells, Texas, where my father was chaplain during World War II. I’d planned to be married at Temple Church in Ruston, but the war changed all that.
I used to think it would be wonderful to celebrate 50 years of wedded bliss, but that time has come and gone quite some time ago. Many of you were not even born yet in 1944 when I was 23, and if you were, you’re headed for old age yourself.
Americans have a charitable streak. In fact, estimates place the percentage of American households making charitable donations each year at 70-80 percent. Research suggests that giving is good for you, too. Donors experience a measurable kind of warm glow or “helpers’ high” from giving to a good cause, studies show.
Even if feeling good is not a motive for charitable giving, it sure is a plus to reap the tax benefits of giving. So it is worth considering the benefits of giving in the most tax-efficient ways, including making gifts of cash and appreciated securities or establishing donor-advised funds and family foundations.