Shine Your Light is an annual end-of-year giving campaign in which East Texas residents can donate to selected nonprofits through the East Texas Communities Foundation. The campaign kicks off today and ends Dec. 31.
This year, the proceeds will be split between a record-breaking nine agencies: The East Texas Food Bank, the Bethesda Clinic, The Hospice of East Texas, the Alzheimer’s Alliance, People Attempting to Help (PATH), the East Texas Crisis Center, The Salvation Army, the Samaritan Counseling Center and Meals On Wheels.
Mayor Barbara Bass, who helped spearhead the creation of the campaign five years ago, has noted that people who make more than $200,000 could see a cap on the amount of charitable donations that they are permitted to claim as a tax deduction.
Last year, Mayor Bass issued a challenge to the community to raise more than $200,000, far more than the campaign had ever raised. The community crushed the goal than $25,000, an almost 40 percent increase from 2010.
Since its inception in 2008, Shine Your Light has raised more than $600,000 to meet the most pressing needs in the community.
This year’s matching funds totaled $95,000, more than has ever been committed. The matching fund partners are the Tyler Morning Telegraph, Mayor Barbara and Billy Bass, the Fourth Partner Foundation, ETCF Harold and Rosemary Beaird Fund, the Niblack Charitable Fund, Terry and Dennis Darryl, Citizens 1st Bank, Drs. SJ Vukeja and Lawrence Anderson, Dermatology Associates of Tyler, American State Bank, and two anonymous donors.
To donate to Shine Your Light, visit www.tylerpaper.com, or ETCF.org, or mail your check payable to Shine Your Light c/o East Texas Communities Foundation, 315 N. Broadway Ave., Tyler, TX, 75702.