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5 Things April 18: April Vacation Happenings, Boston Marathon Charity Tips and More

Your Patch Facts for the day.

Things You Need to Know Today is a Patch column that provides readers with essential, daily information at a glance. Check back later for more, and let us know what you think of the feature in the comments section.

1. From Purgatory to Podunk

Stop by Norton Public Library 10:30 a.m. for a unique program. Debbie and Pete Lincoln are lifelong residents of Massachusetts, graduates of Tufts University, and retired High School teachers from Lunenburg. On a whim in 2007, they decided to visit each of the 351 cities and towns in the state. The whim evolved into a project to photograph, study, and compile information about each. From this mountain of material, they have developed an informative, entertaining, interactive, illustrated program (filled with anecdotes, little-known history, hidden locales, as well as their own mishaps!) entitled From Purgatory to Podunk. This program is scheduled to run approximately two hours and takes place in the community room.

2. Learn to knit

During April vacation, EPOCH Assisted Living of Norton is hosting a number of activities for local school kids and their families. Today, EPOCH’s knitting group will meet at 10:30 a.m. and will be happy to show you and your youngsters how to make fun things with yarn. For more information or to R.S.V.P., please call 508-285-3355.

3. April Vacation Kitchen Chemistry: Ice Cream Fun

This class, at 1417 Park St., Attleboro, will focus on the many forms of cream. What happens when it is agitated or frozen? Explore the science behind the fun. Old fashion ice box cake, ice cream and many more tasty concoctions will be made. Wear clothing that can get messy. Registration is required. Classes cost $20.

4. Beware of Boston Marathon Scams

At least one poorly-conceived charity scam has already emerged in the wake of the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, and according to the Better Business Bureau, more are likely. The BBB gives the following tips for giving with confidence:

  • Thoughtful Giving: Take the time to check out the charity to avoid wasting your generosity by donating to a questionable or poorly managed effort.

  • Help Spread the Wise Giving Word: Remind your friends and family to be cautious about giving requests in the wake of such a tragedy and ask them to spread the word as well.

  • State Government Registration: About 40 of the 50 states require charities to register with a state government agency (usually a division of the State Attorney General’s office) before they solicit for charitable gifts. If the charity is not registered, that may be a significant red flag.

  • Respecting Victims and Their Families: Organizations raising funds should get permission from the families to use either the names of the victims and/or any photographs of them.

  • How Will Donations Be Used? Watch out for vague appeals that don’t identify the intended use of funds.

  • What if a Family Sets Up Its Own Assistance Fund? Be mindful that such funds may not be set up as charities. Also, make sure that collected monies are received and administered by a third party such as a bank, CPA or lawyer. This will help provide oversight and ensure the collected funds are used appropriately (e.g., paying for funeral costs, counseling, and other tragedy-related needs.)

  • Online Cautions: Never click on links to charities on unfamiliar websites or in texts or emails. These may take you to a lookalike website where you will be asked to provide personal financial information or to click on something that downloads harmful malware into your computer. Don’t assume that charity recommendations on Facebook, blogs or other social media have already been vetted.

  • Financial Transparency: After funds are raised for a tragedy, it is even more important for organizations to provide an accounting of how funds were spent.

  • Newly Created or Established Organizations: This is a personal giving choice, but an established charity will more likely have the experience to quickly address the circumstances and have a track record that can be evaluated.

  • Tax Deductibility: Not all organizations collecting funds to assist this tragedy are tax exempt as charities under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

5. High near 62, low around 48

Today will be sunny, with a high near 62. East wind will be 6 to 13 mph becoming south in the afternoon. Tonight there is a 20 percent chance of showers after midnight. Otherwise, it will be mostly cloudy, with a low around 48. South wind will be around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

 

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