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Three Ways Your Finances Can Better Your Community

Community CARE Posted on May 7, 2021

One of the most encouraging statistics to come out of 2020 was that, despite a year filled with economic turmoil, American’s charitable giving increased versus 2019. It was a year where we realized the importance of community, especially our local community – even when we couldn’t speak face to face, or shop or dine in person at our favorite small businesses. That spirit of generosity propelled us through – and it also inspired the Carter Bank & Trust’s “CARE Forward” savings program.

As a financial institution, we’re as local as they come, and we’ve always been passionate about using the money our clients entrust us with to empower the local community to go the extra mile for the needs of Virginia and North Carolina. To prove it, we’re giving $10 to local charities for every savings account opened with Carter Bank & Trust.

All you have to do is open a savings account with Carter Bank & Trust. No worries if you’ve already got an account with us – simply refer friends and family to opening a savings account with us and their new accounts will trigger the donation.

Other Ways to Give Back – Without Breaking the Bank

If you already own a Carter savings account, there are other ways to do high-dollar good for your area’s non-profits while still sticking to your budget.

Perhaps the biggest way to make a difference without spending a dime is to volunteer your time. Any organization’s biggest expenses are its personnel; even if you’re volunteering a few hours a week, you’re likely “giving” that business more money back in its pocket than you might be able to afford in cash! From working with the elderly through a hospice program or volunteering your math or English skills to an afterschool program, you’re creating untold local value.

Along similar lines: in-kind donations are extremely useful to local organizations if they’re being asked for! If you’re looking to join millions of Americans in a post-COVID-19 spring cleaning, look out for these items gathering dust:

  • Professional clothing or “interview-style” clothing. The job market is hot right now, and many businesses are conducting old-fashioned interviews in-person or over video call via Zoom. Dressing for success is a key component of getting the job, but too many qualified individuals might not make a good impression due to not having professional clothing. That dress or button-down Oxford you’ve been hanging on to might do more good in the hands of a job-prep service or an organization assisting the unemployed
  • Baby and toddler clothes. Remember when your children moved on to the next size of clothing about once a week? Somewhere out there, there are parents experiencing the exact same growing pains. Save them a pricey trip to the mall by donating your used children’s clothing to an organization serving young parents

Even if your spring cleaning just turns up the usual trove of old VHS cassettes, used appliances and funky art, don’t be afraid to take it down to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army to add to their stock. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, and each sale of the donated goods creates jobs and benefits.

Finally, if you’re able to set aside any money for charitable donations, consider waiting until the end of the year to combine your financial contributions into one, easily recorded amount. The reason is simple: your ability to easily deduct anything more than $300 or so from your following year’s taxes hinges on having good record-keeping from the charity you donated to. Plus, charities can always use the financial boost at the end of their financial year and during the holidays!

At Carter Bank & Trust, our focus is on the community. From our savings incentive contests that can put cash in your bank account to our CARE Forward program that puts it in the hands of nonprofits doing good in our hometowns, we’re here for our folks.

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