Arizona Charitable Tax Credit: Invest in a Foster Child’s Future

scott foundation

Looking for a way to give to those who need it? If you live in Arizona, you can make a huge impact without spending a dime. You have the opportunity to help foster kids by simply choosing how your taxes are spent. This is possible through a state program designed to help qualified charities make a bigger difference in their communities.

The Arizona Qualifying Foster Care Charitable Organization (QFCO) Tax Credit assists foster children in the state and reduces your state income tax. All Arizona state tax payers are eligible for a tax credit when they donate to a Qualified Charitable Organization (QCO), such as the Scott Foundation. That means, when you make a donation to us, you will get a dollar-for-dollar credit on your state income tax.

Per the program, married couples can give up to $1,000 and single filers can give up to $500 to Scott Foundation and get it all back. If you donate before the end of the fiscal year, the amount will come right off your owed taxes for 2016.

Do You Know Where Your Tax Dollars Go?

Currently, your tax dollars are split up between different programs that support the most pressing issues foster kids in Arizona face.

Based on state and federal reporting of public systems and services, the cost of funding these programs is $453,598 per year, per child. There are currently around 18,000 children in Arizona foster care. Our tax dollars pay nearly half a million dollars on each child to keep them in these programs. But this is a problem. Instead of helping kids get better or move on with a rewarding life, there’s incentive to keep the children in these programs year after year without driving progress because it keeps tax money coming in.

It’s time to make a change.

To really help foster children, we should be focusing on getting kids out of the system. We need to teach them how to live responsible, mindful and fulfilling lives. Tax payer investments should go toward breaking the cycle to successfully graduate community-minded, whole people who become our next leaders.

So instead of paying the state, please redirect your tax dollars to invest in developing a future for our foster children. After all, should funding be decreased for any of the state services and programs listed above, the government relies on nonprofits to pick up the slack anyway. By donating to the Scott Foundation, you can truly make a difference for kids who need it, right now, at zero cost to you. We promise more than 95 cents of every dollar given to Scott Foundation goes directly to program-related expenses.

What to Know for 2016 Taxes

If you have made a donation or are planning to before the end of the year, there are a few things you should know about collecting your credit. Fortunately, you don’t have to itemize your taxes to receive your tax break. But, do keep in mind, individual tax payers, not businesses, are the only ones eligible for this program.

To claim your credit on your 2016 taxes, simply report the amount donated and the name of the QCO to the Department of Revenue through Form 321.

This act of kindness won’t cost you a thing; it’s simply a designation of where your funds go. Please consider donating yours to Scott Foundation to help our state’s foster children. Together we can break the cycle of poverty, while saving the state money in the process.

Operation Toy Box:
A Happy Ending to a Different Kind of Toy Story

A big thank you goes out to Arizona Department of Child Safety, Maag Toy Foundation, United Healthcare, Dircks Moving & Logistics, Target, Pillow Pets and 3rd Story Architecture for helping Operation Toy Box leave a big impact. The key to this year’s special holiday event was the personal notes written for each of the 100 boxes of toys delivered to DCS offices and group homes around the state. These notes offered stories of courage, words of encouragement and hope to children entering the foster care system from others who had already been through it. Below are some of the kind words that were shared.

“Keep your head up no matter what you are going through because there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t give up, and find something that keeps you moving forward and makes you happy, and remember a quote that I say, ‘if anything is possible than nothing is impossible’ and you can make it through any obstacle large and small.”

“Do not give up on your dreams. Don’t let the voice of others stop you! Many dreams can be reached as long as you don’t let them go.”

“I know being in the foster system is really challenging and it tested your faith in the beginning. You felt like your alone and that nobody was there or nobody knows what you’re going through. But there is a lot of people who understand and been through the same things or similar. My advice is ‘keep your head up, smile and know that this too shall pass.’ You’re not going to be stuck in the same situations forever. Love yourself first.”

“To whoever is reading this, I want you to know that life is filled with all sorts of negativity, struggles, and mixed feelings. But, that’s okay! Because being the amazing and unique individual you are, you can turn that all around. We all have a purpose, and we all make positive changes. All it takes is being the strong person you are, holding your head up high and proving to the world that it can all be better. The more bumps you hit in the road, the stronger and more knowledgeable you will become. Never give up. Continue climbing, keep looking forward!”

“Just because you’re in foster care doesn’t mean you are not special. Every person is amazing in their own ways. You probably don’t see it, but someone else does.”

“I want you to know that I am just like you, I was taken from my family at age 15 and I’m now 16 and I’m stronger from this experience. I want you to know that I’m just like you even though I’m not with you, I want to be in your heart. I want you to know you’re loved by me and a lot of others.”

Along with showing new foster kids people care about them, the holiday delivery brought 100 toys to each location with the message that they won’t be forgotten. We are proud to say it was a great success and memorable event for everyone involved. Fox 10 News even showed up to capture the special day!

“Swing for a Cause” Hits a Hole in One

Scott Foundation hosted its “Swing for a Cause” event at TopGolf in Scottsdale on Oct. 22. The day of play featured community members and children from the Arizona foster system hitting 100 balls to raise money for the nonprofit. Aside from acting as a fundraiser, the event gave donors and sponsors the opportunity to meet and play with the incredible foster kids looking for a forever home. But it was the response of the children that really made the event memorable.

Each kid was able to order anything they wanted to eat, which was a big deal, even inciting a huge “Wow!” from more than one participant. When we told the children they could order whatever they wanted – two meals, appetizers, desserts or anything else from the 9-page menu – the excitement and size of their smiles made the event extremely special for everyone in attendance.

As a wonderful side note, two foster children from a group home are getting adopted by a wonderful couple who attended the event!

Why Me and Why Was I Left Behind? A Note from Colleen

Why do we focus on serving kids in the foster care system? Everyone has a story, but my awakening began through the loss of my son, Scott. Being completely emptied from everything I thought I knew inside, I observed the world now happening for me in slow motion. Why me and why was I left behind?

This same question is asked by nearly

20,000 kids in the foster care system. As I watched the social noise, unkind words spoken and swirl of everyone rushing do things that felt unimportant, I began to search for my own purpose and what to put back into my life. What kind of person am I? What can I do to make this world better than I found it?

In the light of selfless service, I found unspeakable power that came from within. My heart began to fill as I watched children light up inside when they too had permission to feel and focus on acts of kindness. It was like taking a magic pill that softened the edges of my own pain. Now how do we create more superheroes to fix the overwhelming problems we have?

Much like many bereaved parents who start movements, change laws or spearhead crusades of tireless activism, I found myself in these young warriors who were motivated like no others, turning their pain into something positive. These shining souls are the most beautiful, compassionate and loving healers I have ever had the honor of knowing. They are life-changers, game-changers, relentless survivors and thrivers. Young warriors who redefine the word brave.

Love is the most powerful force on earth. Get to know a foster child. You’ll be thankful you did!

Please give your tax dollars a voice and support foster kids who wish to become superheroes to make our world better.