Donations for 2011 due Friday - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Donations for 2011 due Friday

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CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Southwest Louisiana is home to many charities and non-profit organizations. People make donations throughout the year to benefit these programs and to get a deduction on their taxes.

Friday is the last day to make that happen for this year. The IRS requires tax deductions to be post marked December 31 to be considered year-end donations.

But registered investment advisor representative Randy Harless says the best contribution idea is to plan ahead.

"Work with someone to develop a plan to make regular contributions," said Harless. "Work with someone who understands taxes and can look at your personal situation and get a plan and stick with it."

It seems many people had plans this year, especially ones donating to united way. Senior research development associate Beverly Smith says the organization exceeded their set goal of just under four million dollars, and there's still time left.

"This year's campaign is just a wonderful testament to the generosity of the people of southwest Louisiana," said Smith. "They've just stepped up at a time where our economy is still not fully recovered."

United Way isn't the only organization that's done well this year despite the weak economy. Executive director of rebuilding together, Susan Mestayer, says the organization has received less donations than expected, but still very good despite the times.

The organization repairs homes for low-income, elderly and disabled home owners. With just one day left, these programs are hoping for last minute year-end contributions.

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