Editorial: Generosity

This is the time of year we think about giving, and let’s face it, getting. So here’s an idea. When we give to charitable organizations, we get quite a bit back — from the organizations and from Uncle Sam — and we feel good about it.

Americans gave $373.25 billion in charitable donations last year, according to the National Philanthropic Trust. The largest source of giving was individuals, at $268.28 billion, or 71% of total giving, followed by foundations ($57.19 billion/16%), bequests ($28.72 billion/9%), and corporations ($18.46 billion/5%).

If you are so inclined, there are many organizations right here in Wilton that are deserving of your consideration and your dollars, and there’s still time to do it before the end of the year.

The Norwalk River Valley Trail is growing season by season in Wilton, offering safe opportunities for walking and bicycling year-round. It receives no town funds. To donate, go to nrvt-trail.com and click on Donate.

Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County provides charity care for those who cannot afford to pay. Secure donations may be made online at visitingnurse.net.

The Community Assistance Fund is an umbrella organization to help Wilton families in need with heating assistance, rental assistance and the food pantry. Checks may be made payable to Wilton Interfaith Council, 180 School Road, Wilton 06897.

CERT, Wilton’s Community Emergency Response Team, is comprised of volunteers who turn out during emergencies ranging from traffic accidents to major weather events. Monetary gifts pay for equipment and training. Checks may be made out to Wilton CERT and mailed to Wilton Fire Department, 236 Danbury Road, Wilton 06897, attn: Jack Majesky.

A cancer diagnosis is difficult enough, but when that diagnosis is for a child it can be devastating. The Circle of Care offers support to families of children with cancer. Visit thecircleofcare.org and click on Ways to Help.

Also raising money for childhood cancer research is the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Each year students at Wilton High School shave their heads in exchange for donations. Contribute by visiting stbaldricks.org and searching for a specific participant or for Wilton High School.

In addition to nearly 365 days of service per year, Wilton Library provides knowledge and entertainment in the form of its wide-ranging collection, concerts, art exhibitions, Innovation Station, and many special events. Donations may be made online at www.wiltonlibrary.org, or by mailing a check to Wilton Library, 137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton 06897.

The Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps is an independent, nonprofit organization providing 911 emergency ambulance coverage 24/7 in Wilton. It receives only modest support from the town. To donate, send a check made payable to Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps to 234 Danbury Road, Wilton 06897.

More worthy organizations:

Wilton Land Trust: wiltonlandtrust.org.

Wilton Historical Society: wiltonhistorical.org or 203-762-7257.

Wilton Educational Foundation: wiltoneducationfoundation.org.

Meals on Wheels: 203-762-0566.

Wilton Playshop: wiltonplayshop.org.

Ambler Farm: amblerfarm.org or send a check to Friends of Ambler Farm, P.O. Box 7442, Wilton 06897.

Woodcock Nature Center: woodcocknaturecenter.org.

Wilton Family YMCA: wiltonymca.org.

Trackside Teen Center: 203-824-2888.

The Wilton unit of the Salvation Army: Wilton Unit, Salvation Army, c/o Nancy Milnamow, 35 Woods End Drive, Wilton CT 06897.

FISH transportation service: checks made out to FISH may be sent to Walt Misdom, 44 Village Court, Wilton 06897.