Spotlight Organization

New Hope Life Center For Women

New Hope Life Center For Women goes beyond charitable giving and focuses on establishing a new paradigm for living. Women are encouraged to heal and grow, regardless of past pain and failure. They are given the tools needed to remain physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually strong throughout the rest of their lives.

I recently sat down with the president of the organization, Kathleen McCallister, to get her perspective on the good they do for women of hope.

Q: Why would someone want to support New Hope Life Center For Women?
A: “We’re successfully breaking the cycle by creating family and community instead of just a program.”

Q: What are the expectations of a woman entering recovery?
A: “When a woman enters the program, she commits to at least 9 – 12 months of holistic recovery. The holistic recovery integrates physical,mental, emotional, and spiritual health, as well as life skills and goal setting.”

Q: How do you measure success?
A: “We are successfully reversing the failure rate for female addicts in recovery and providing dramatic results for women, families, and the community. 75% of the women we graduate are clean and sober 1 year after program completion!”

Pay it forward: If you’d like to support the mission of New Hope Life Center For Women, you can contact them in the following ways.

3507 Harney Street, P.O. Box 31188
Omaha, NE 68131

How Will Expiring Tax Laws Affect You?

Get ready because here it comes! The tax breaks we’ve grown accustom to during the last decade are about to expire. What will it mean for you if the tax breaks are not extended? Let’s take a look.

Legislation: The two major tax-cutting bills from the Bush era were the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA) of 2001, and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. These laws cut taxes for earned income, long-term capital gains and dividends.

Tax Brackets: EGTRRA created six tax rate brackets—10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33% and 35%, based on income levels. If no extension is passed and signed into law, then the pre-2001 tax rates will go back into effect starting in tax year 2011. The 10% bracket would disappear, and those taxpayers would move up to the 15% bracket, which would apply to all incomes below $34,550. The other tax rates would increase to 28%, 31%, 36% and 39.6% for the highest earners making more than $379,650.

Child Tax Credit: One major provision that will expire at the end of 2010 is the child tax credit. It will revert back to $500 for tax year 2011.

Capital Gains/Qualified Dividends: The maximum tax rate on long-term gains and qualified dividends were also reduced to 15%, with lower income filers facing a 0% tax rate. The sunset provisions would move the capital gains rate back to a maximum of 20%, and qualified dividends would resume being taxed at the regular tax rate of the filer, or as high
as 39.6%—ouch!

The “marriage penalty” is also set to expire. It gave a married couple filing jointly a standard deduction twice that of a single filer. As mentioned: be ready, pay attention, and talk with your advisors about what this all means for you.

Billionaires Lead The Way

“It’s an established principle that there’s something called leadership by example,” said Peter G. Peterson, a former Nebraskan and financier who plans to give more than half his net worth of an estimated $2-billion back to charity. Peterson, along with fellow Omahans, Warren Buffett and Walter Scott Jr., is among 40 billionaires (and counting) who pledged a percentage of their riches to charity.

The idea stems from Buffett and Bill Gates. In June they asked individuals and families to publicly commit to give away at least half of their wealth within their lifetimes or after their deaths. Their goal: $600 billion. If their campaign succeeds, it could change the face of philanthropy. This has a ripple effect on so many levels. One only has to question if that’s something we can also do, regardless of our financial status. If the “standard” of giving is 10%, you have to be impressed with the percentage that billionaires are giving back to mankind—from 50% upwards to the 99% Buffett has pledged to give back.

Buffett wants to “set an example” and “influence others to give.” Little may he have known it’s not just the billionaires he’s influencing. In 2009 Americans charitable giving fell 3.6% to $303.8 billion last year, down from $315 billion in 2008, according to Giving USA. In 2008, charitable giving fell 2%. This charitable movement should be making us ask ourselves, “What am I willing to do now or upon my death to support charities that mean most to me?” After all, we know we can’t “take it with us.” I’ve never seen a U-Haul hitched up to a hearse!