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Since the new tax law raises the standard deduction, many people who used to itemized deductions may no longer be best served by itemizing beginning in 2018, especially with the limitation on state and local taxes. You may consider moving some or all of your 2018 giving into 2017 for tax purposes. With some tax payers receiving a lower tax bracket under the new tax law, it could make sense to accelerate gifts into 2017 even if you still itemize.
Donor Advised Funds:
Setting up a donor advised fund, either at Humboldt Area Foundation or a financial institution is like funding a savings account for future giving. The tax deduction is available immediately, but you can make the individual giving decisions later.
If you are 70 ½ or older, you can opt to make a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) from your IRA. This allows funds to be withdrawn from your IRA with no tax consequences and can be used to satisfy your minimum required distribution (RMD).
Appreciated Asset Giving:
Giving appreciated assets such as stock or real estate is a very tax effective way to give.You can deduct the full market price of the asset and avoid the capital gains tax on the increased value. Please do not wait until the last minute to do this, though. It is important to let you recipient know soon if you would like to do this so that the logistics can be worked out.
We encourage you to consult your legal, tax, or financial adviser or contact the Foundation directly at (707) 442-2993/ firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to answer your questions and assist you in making the best decision for your individual giving.
Humboldt Area Foundation offices will be open 8:30am-5pm through the holidays, except for December 25 & 26th. We invite you to give us a call or stop by our offices in Bayside at 363 Indianola Rd.
Happy Holidays to you and yours.
Humboldt Area Foundation Executive Director
Thank you for your support of Humboldt Area Foundation and the good work our community members do in Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity and Curry counties. We would like to let you know about some changes we are making to our outreach this year.
Our annual Donor Yearbook is undergoing a remodel and will be smaller than in previous years. It will feature fund descriptions, fund balances and donor information. The yearbook will be sent to all fund holders and anyone who requests it. We will also mail a short Annual Report to the wider community. Both the Donor Yearbook and Annual Report will be mailed out in the fall. The Wild Rivers Community Foundation will continue to distribute their yearbook as in previous years. All publications will be available online. You can find past publications here.
We made this decision in accordance with the values we live at Humboldt Area Foundation. A shorter yearbook will have a smaller environmental impact and cost less money to produce, allowing us to put those resources back to work in our community. Information and inspiring stories about our work and mission, including initiatives, programs, grant and scholarship opportunities will be shared on our website and through updates in our new monthly newsletters. We want to keep you up to date with the good work happening in our community.
If you are not a fund holder and would like to continue to receive the annual Donor Yearbook, please email, call or use the link below to contact me no later than September 30, 2019.
Please also let me know if you have any feedback on our current or future outreach efforts or if you would like us to make any changes to your contact information, including switching to a digital-only mailing list.
Thank you for helping us do more in our community,
Linda Stansberry, Communications Manager
Bayside, Calif. Nov. 26, 2018
Guy Kulstad was many things to many people: A civil engineer, veteran, ocean explorer, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who hosted notoriously huge Christmas parties at his home in Trinidad, he was also a steadfast volunteer for the Humboldt Literacy Project for more than 11 years, helping adults improve their lives by learning to read. Only after his death in December 2017 did the Humboldt Literacy Project learn the true extent of Guy’s generosity: Along with volunteering, Guy had anonymously been donating money through the Humboldt Area Foundation to cover medical insurance for the nonprofit’s employees. After his passing, the Kulstad Family Fund continued this legacy. Guy Kulstad is just one example of generosity of spirit we see in our region, where many people donate not only money, but also their time and talent to make our communities stronger. To honor and amplify this philosophy, Humboldt Area Foundation is gathering stories for the 100 Acts of Giving campaign, with the goal of sharing at least 100 stories like Guy’s by December 31.
Based in Bayside, Humboldt Area Foundation serves a region roughly the size of Maine, including Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity and Curry counties. In the 2017-2018 fiscal year HAF awarded $3.5 million for 1,417 grants to local nonprofits, charitable organizations and other entities. HAF’s employees witness and help facilitate a lot of generosity, but there are always more stories to tell. From local businesses and elected officials working together with donors to bring gift cards and Thanksgiving meals to survivors of the Camp Fire, to volunteers gathering warm clothes to help the houseless during the onset of cold weather, we see ordinary people doing extraordinary things every day in our region. Let’s honor that generosity by gathering some of those stories. Every act of generosity – big or small – should be honored with recognition. You can find these stories on our website at www.hafoundation.org/100ActsofGiving. Do you have a story to share? Here’s how to do it:
Use our hashtag on Facebook, Twitter (@WeAreHAF) or Instagram (@humboldtfoundation): #100ActsofGiving
Email us: TalkToUs@hafoundation.org
About Humboldt Area Foundation:
Vera Vietor established the Humboldt Area Foundation in 1972. Since then, more than $80 million in grants and scholarships have been awarded in Humboldt, Del Norte, Curry and Trinity Counties. Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership and inclusion to strengthen our communities.
For more information on services provided by the Foundation please visit the Humboldt Area Foundation website at hafoundation.org or call (707) 442-2993.
Photo Caption: HAF Office/Safety Manager Jill Moore delivers food to Food for People’s Choice Pantry Coordinator Erin Tharp.
Linda Stansberry, Communications Manager, Humboldt Area Foundation
(Story by Sierra Jenkins, Lost Coast Outpost)
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE VIDEO
'Tis the season of giving … and for Humboldt’s Holiday Funding Partnership, it’s the season of giving grants!
(Story by Kimberly Wear, North Coast Journal)
When Ernesto Cappuccio arrived in Arcata with his family just over four years ago, a lot about his life changed. There were all the usual things that such a move entails for a fifth grader, which in this case included starting over at a new school in a small town where everyone seemed to have known each other forever.
But that wasn't the hardest part. It turned out that a seemingly simple thing proved to be one of the toughest adjustments — he could no longer play basketball.
Born with spina bifida, Ernesto uses a wheelchair. Back when he lived in the Bay Area enclave of Livermore, the now 15-year-old was part of a competitive basketball team that had access to a court with an adjustable hoop. But here in Humboldt County, there were no similar programs.
And while there was a park with a court just down the street from his new house in Arcata's Greenview neighborhood, the lone basket stood at regulation height and Ernesto was blocked from using it by a swath of grass that was difficult, if not impossible, for his wheelchair to traverse.
"It was in the back and there was no way to get to it," Ernesto says. "No way. No how."
When his two younger sisters — Chloe and Zoe — played on the swings or climbed the jungle gym, Ernesto was often relegated to the sidelines, or — more accurately — the sidewalk.
And considering that he not only played competitive basketball and sled hockey, but also went caving and rock climbing through the nonprofit Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program, Ernesto was not accustomed to sitting things out.
Now an Arcata High School freshman, he's on the track and field team in discus and shot put, while also playing trumpet in the orchestra.
"It was tough," Ernesto says of the move. "I liked to do all of those sports. They were fun."
So, when neighbor Daniel Bixler organized a meeting in the spring of 2015 to look at replacing Greenview Park's outdated equipment, Ernesto and his father Frank went to talk about more than just what play structures should be installed.
They went to talk about access for everyone. And they were not alone.
Bixler says he still becomes emotional when thinking about the families who came forward in those early planning stages to explain how playgrounds are often symbols of isolation to their children.
Instead of welcoming places to shoot a few hoops or zoom down slides with abandon, the combination of a lack of access and equipment they could use made the parks seem more like exclusive clubs that didn't include them on the guest list.
The father of two young daughters, Bixler says he couldn't believe he'd missed what should have been so obvious.
"It was more than a lightbulb that went off," he says, recalling he immediately turned to Dan Diemer, then the city's parks superintendent, and asked, "What would it take?"
What it was going to take was money, about twice as much as a traditional playground build, not just for the specialized play equipment but also to install wheelchair-friendly surfaces and things like accessible picnic tables.
Instead of around $150,000, the project would cost upward of $300,000.
With his eyes now opened wide, the owner of Humboldt Hot Sauce knew there was only one way forward and the stage was set for Arcata's first fully inclusive playground. Then the hard work began.
"There was no turning back," Bixler recalls.
Playgrounds haven't always been the neighborhood fixtures that most people now take for granted. The idea first appeared around the mid-1800s, in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, to offer children a safe place to play and respite from the bleak tenement life so many faced in inner cities.
With the baby boom following World War II and the rise of suburban neighborhoods, playgrounds became more common place and have continued to evolve over the years, embraced not only for providing needed green space amid urban sprawl but also as an outlet for unfettered play that helps children learn to interact and use their imaginations.
But there's also a more serious side — psst, don't tell the kids — especially for children with developmental delays.
All that playing builds physical coordination, which in turn helps kids who have trouble navigating the complicated dance of social interaction to develop those skills, according to Jayne McGuire, a professor of recreation administration at Humboldt State University.
Children who might have a tough time communicating can find themselves on more even ground with their peers when they can go head-to-head on the monkey bars just like everyone else, she says.
As an added benefit, those skills can develop faster on playgrounds than with rote exercises because the kids are simply having fun, McGuire notes.
"They're little microcosms of social engagement that develop a sense of self and a sense of independence," says McGuire, who consulted on Greenview Park's design. "It lets parents take that one step back and let their kids be kids."
Along that vein, inclusive playgrounds are gaining a foothold following the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act and special education laws in the 1990s.
McGuire notes that inclusive playgrounds are not just for children who might have difficulties using traditional play structures. They ensure there is something for everyone to enjoy — and to enjoy together.
"The goal is that everyone plays side-by-side and we break down those barriers," she says.
While it's hard to quantify how many now exist, National Public Radio's "Playgrounds for Everyone" app — which crowdsources locations and information on the growing movement — lists nearly 3,000 inclusive playgrounds in the United States.
For Mara Kaplan, founder of Let Kids Play, a Pittsburgh-based national consulting firm on inclusive play areas, the importance of making sure all children and adults have access to playgrounds can't be overstated.
The mother of a special needs son, Kaplan knows first-hand the heartbreak of not being able to do what so many people take for granted — spending a day at the park with her children.
"It really isolates a family and takes them out of the community when you don't make the community inclusive and welcoming for everybody," she says.
While there are ADA requirements for newer parks, both Kaplan and McGuire say those are "low bars" that mainly address access.
"ADA might get my son to the playground, but it doesn't necessarily get him through the playground and it doesn't mean there is anything for him to do at the playground," Kaplan says.
But things have changed by leaps and bounds in the 24 years since her son was born, with many communities, like Arcata, embracing the idea that making inclusive playgrounds can be the rule, rather than the exception, to the benefit of everyone.
"You see children learn about one another in a way that no other place else than a playground can be," Kaplan says. "A playground is normalizing."
While Arcata might not have been on the forefront of fully inclusive playgrounds, the city is now moving toward leading the nation by making Greenview Park just the starting point.
"We hope it will be the first of what will be many," says Julie Neander, the city's director of Community Services. "That is our goal. ... It means it will cost us more money but it's so worth it. We want our parks to be for everyone."
This past Saturday marked a major milestone when, after more than two years of planning, fundraising and hard work, Greenview Park officially opened to a crowd of about 200 who gathered at the one-acre site tucked into a cul-de-sac off 11th Street.
If it takes a village to raise a child, it also took one to reinvent Greenview Park.
Between the spare change dropped into collection cans, $200,000 in state funds granted to Arcata because of its commitment to affordable housing and the donations of community members and local businesses, more than $300,000 was raised.
"Our world is better by our actions," Bixler told the crowd in a voice choked with emotion.
As children scrambled across the spongey green and black speckled matting that replaced the grass to explore their new space, grownups wandered about the vibrant yellow, orange and blue play structures, where once only meager swing sets and a lone steel jungle gym the color of a dreary Humboldt day stood.
There are still swings, but this set includes one with a specialized seat to strap in children who might not have the ability to hold on for themselves. Near the entrance, a sensory wall with patterns to trace and music makers to play stands at the ready, along with the obligatory climbing structure and side-by-side slides.
Toward the back and off to the side, sits a dome that can be scaled while also providing a quiet refuge inside for autistic children who can become overwhelmed by sensory overload.
There is also a sway glider with a ramp to accommodate wheelchairs that rocks back and forth.
None went unused. Still in the back but with a paved path leading the way, there is a basketball court with an adjustable hoop.
By far the most popular feature on Saturday was a zip line structure with a large chair resembling a child's car seat that zooms back and forth along a track on the park's outer edge, the idea of Zoe Cappuccio — Ernesto's 8-year-old sister.
Standing at the head of a long line waiting to take a turn, her sister Chloe could not be happier with result.
The pair — like the rest of the family — took part in the park's fundraising, with the girls setting up a lemonade stand that raised $60 for the cause.
"I think it's fun," Chloe says of the zip line. "It feels like you're flying."
What started out as a simple renovation project had transformed into something much more — a place with something for everyone, where children and adults, regardless of whether they are blind or deaf, autistic or use a wheelchair, can mingle and play — together.
Calling Greenview Park "a great example of collaboration," Bixler notes his tiny Arcata neighborhood now boasts the only fully inclusive playground in the 350-mile stretch between Oakland and Medford, Oregon.
After Ernesto cut the opening day ribbon, Bixler was there to give him a high five.
As the celebration in the park continued, Lucy Bixler stopped by the sign with glass blocks denoting the 66 donors who gave more than $250 toward the effort — proudly pointing out the block with her and her sister Bella's names.
Her father says that, years from now, his girls and other children will still be able to look up at those names and know there were people who cared enough about them and their community to make a difference.
"I think it's going to work out very well for everyone," Bixler says.
“I’m only here because of Trinity County Search and Rescue,” says Donna Brantly. On December 29, 2007, Brantly and her husband James were traveling east on California State Route 299 when they hit a patch of black ice and left the road. James was killed. Donna remembers nothing of the accident. It was a series of chances that led to her rescue – two fishermen spotted the tracks in the ice, the passenger seat brackets broke so Donna was thrown backward and cocooned in the crushed metal. The search and rescue team worked for four hours to remove her from the vehicle, which was trapped precariously near the Trinity River.
After the accident, and after Donna’s long recovery, which included a full year of rehabilitation, she and her family began to learn more about the rescue team and the vital role they play in rural communities.
“They have to replace about a 1,000 feet of rope every year,” says Donna. She also learned that volunteer first responders often pay for their own training and emergency gear. In 2008 the James P. Brantly Memorial Fund was created to support the work of rural search and rescue organizations.
Donna and her daughter, Cheryl Kingham, believe that James would have approved of the work his legacy supports. James Brantly was a steadfast man who stuck with the things he cared about. He was a member of the United Methodist Church for 50 years, a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization. He worked in federal law enforcement for 30 years, earning the Commissioner's Meritorious Achievement Award for rescuing a woman on Palomar Mountain. He received citations from President Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy for his assistance during the Oxford riots when the University of Mississippi enrolled the first black student, James Meredith. His marriage to Donna spanned five decades.
“He was so handsome that the girls at my college accused me of keeping the photo that came in the frame,” says Donna, referring to the photo of the “tall, handsome sailor” she met on the Long Beach boardwalk at the dawn of the Korean War. It was only when James took leave and showed up at her dormitory with a flat of strawberries that the teasing stopped.
Cheryl describes her father as “very loyal, very loving.” He respected his wife, who had studied business and went on to be a business manager at the local school district.
“Big Jim,” as some people dubbed James, liked to give back. He often volunteered at his church and helped neighbors in their homes, doing plumbing and electrical work.
“He could fix anything,” says Donna, who also called James her “Handy Andy.”
The James P. Brantly Memorial Fund has supported small fire departments and search and rescue organizations by providing emergency equipment, training funds and supplies such as water purification equipment, intubation dummies and rope.
Donna, now 86, helps administer the fund along with Cheryl; the family lives in McKinleyville and regularly host Cheryl’s Girl Scout troop. Cheryl says that one takeaway from the tragic experience was that if you’re traveling you should make sure to have emergency contact information in the glove compartment of the car and other locations so first responders will know who to call if there’s an accident. The family adds to the fund every year on James’ birthday, January 16. To learn more about the James P. Brantly Memorial Fund, click here.
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Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership, and inclusion to strengthen our communities.