Thursday, November 12, 2009

Operation Christmas Child

Want to bring some joy to a child who would otherwise not get any Christmas presents this year? You can through the Samaritan's Purse organization and the Operation Christmas Child project. Operation Christmas Child's mission is to demonstrate God's love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

It's simple to do, just get a standard size shoe box, choose whether you would like to buy gifts for a boy or a girl and then pick which age bracket: 2-4 years, 5-9 years or 10-14 years. (You can print out labels on the website that you'll attach to the top of the box.) Purchase your gifts and then wrap your box--wrap the lid separately. You can include a personal note from yourself and your family if you would like.

Include $7 per box to help pay for shipping costs; simply fill out the donation form that's on the website--it's on the same page as the labels--and write a check. Put those items in an envelope and place them inside the box on top of the gifts.

There are several drop-off locations and next week, November 16-23, is the collection week. This is so easy to do and what a difference you could make in a child's life--think of the smile you're going to bring to their precious face when they see the goodies you've given them.

Be creative with your gifts inside the's some ideas to get you started:

TOYS small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small Etch A Sketch®, toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), Slinky®, etc.

SCHOOL SUPPLIES pens, pencils and sharpener, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.

HYGIENE ITEMS toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb, washcloth, etc.

OTHER Hard candy and lollipops (please double bag all candy), mints, gum, T-shirts, socks, ball caps; sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries)

A PERSONAL NOTE In a separate envelope, you may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. (If you include your name and address, the child may write back.)

DO NOT INCLUDE: Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snowglobes or glass containers; aerosol cans

In case you missed the link to the Operation Christmas Child website at the top, here it is again:

So, how many boxes will you fill?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Extension

Good news potential home buyers!! The first time home buyer tax credit has been extended into 2010 and now there's even a tax credit for those current home owners looking to purchase a home as well!

First Time Home Buyer Extended Tax Credit Basics:
  • The $8,000 tax credit has been extended until April 30, 2010. As long as you have a written, binding contract in force by that date you have until July 1, 2010 to close.

  • You will not have to repay this credit as long as you live in the home as your primary residence for three years or more.

  • Eligible properties include single-family homes, condos, town homes and co-ops.

  • You qualify as a first time home buyer if you or your spouse has not owned a home during the previous three years.

  • Income limits have been increased: single buyers are now eligible with income limits of up to $125,000 and married couples are eligible with income limits up to $225,000

  • This extension was put into effect on November 7, 2009

Current Home Owner Tax Credit Basics:

  • Current home owners can get a credit of up to $6,500 when they sell their primary residence and purchase another home during the November 7, 2009 to April 30, 2010 time frame

  • You qualify to get the credit if you've used the home being sold as your principal residence for five consecutive years within the last eight

  • The other factors such as which homes qualify, whether or not you have to repay the credit and the income limits are the same as the first time home buyer tax credit.

Now it's a great time to buy in Georgia whether you're a first time home buyer or one who's lived in your home for at least five consecutive years. I would love to help you buy a new home or sell your current one! If you are in the market to buy or sell your home in the Bethlehem or Dacula area, I would be happy to assist you! My passion is helping people find their dream home and stepping them through this exciting journey. I serve the Walton, Barrow and Gwinnett county areas. Call or text me today: 404.357.2231!

(Please note, information in this post was obtained from the article written by the National Association of REALTORS and can be found at this link: The Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit.)

Also, if you have specific questions as to how this tax credit pertains to you or if you want more details please contact the Internal Revenue Service at 800.829.1040