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New Hampshire gives: In many ways, we help others

With Christmas two days away, we suspect readers have better things on their minds than an editorial page's reflections on matters of great and solemn import. Well, so do we.

But we are mindful of the latest in a long line of reports claiming that New Hampshire people are cheap when it comes to giving. This is a story generated annually by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and it is based solely on tax deductions taken by people with at least $50,000 in annual income.

We don't buy it. It may be that the people in this group don't make the deduction (if in fact they itemize their tax return). But our experience is that people in New Hampshire make plenty of charitable contributions, to both tax-deductible groups and those that are doing good work without benefit of a 501-C3 designation.

Many of the people who give to the Union Leader Santa Fund aren't asking for a receipt. Same for those pushing a dollar bill, or a twenty, into the Salvation Army's red kettles. The Santa Fund, by the way, is still taking donations, and our Greater Manchester Edition will be printing donor lists later in the week. We were not at all surprised to see several donations last week made in memory of the Newtown, Conn., school victims.

Just last week, the Union Leader editorial page noted a Keene High School Interact Club, which has raised $50,000 in each of the last six years. Were all those donations listed on the donors' tax returns? We doubt it.

People at a Manchester Christian Church donate unwrapped toys at Christmas, and then help out with the labor to distribute them.

Those Keene students, by the way, also donate their time and labor. Ditto hundreds, if not thousands, of New Hampshire men and women to worthy causes, either of long-standing or to address an immediate need, be it a family routed by a fire or a military veteran returning from duty.

New Hampshire low in charity giving? The evidence proves otherwise.

Eric Church
Saturday, 8 p.m.

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Kathy Griffin
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Peter Wolf
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