MILWAUKEE — Shaping the lives of young men, primarily of color, is the goal of Operation Dream, a non-profit started in 2008.
“We knew it would be instrumental for young men's success, (for) men in their lives to steer and guide them,” said Marco Morrison, Executive Director of Operation Dream.
The non-profit mentors boys and young men ages four to 24 through tutoring, workforce development, and by providing meaningful experiences. The work they do is critical in the city.
“We know it’s important to instill the value, the grit, determination and inspire our young men to truly be their best selves,” said Marco.
But for many non-profits, the pandemic has taken a financial toll. During a time when we saw record unemployment numbers, Marco said many redirected their dollars towards other crucial charities like food pantries and housing programs.
However, this year in an effort to encourage giving to struggling charities, the Internal Revenue Service is allowing an extra charitable tax deductible by giving back to qualified charities.
Under the temporary law, taxpayers don’t need to itemize deductions on their tax returns to take advantage of this, which creates tax-favorable donation options not normally available to about 90 percent of tax filers. Ordinarily, people who choose to take the standard deduction cannot claim a deduction for their charitable contributions. But this special provision permits them to claim a limited deduction on their 2021 federal income tax returns for cash contributions made to qualifying charitable organizations by year’s end, Dec. 31.
“This is just an extra incentive to do that, because you can not only help your community, but get an advantage on your tax return as well,” said Christopher Miller with the IRS.
Marco said receiving the extra financial support means they can continue to impact the lives of young men for years to come.
“Obviously it just strengthen the impact that we're able to have on our young man to provide them with the resources and the opportunities,” said Marco.