Letter to the editor

This Letter to the Editor from SERV Behavioral Health System, Inc.'s President and CEO Gary van Nostrand appeared in The Times of Trenton on Nov. 4, 2008

Many ways to help a favorite nonprofit

Kudos to Ruthellen S. Rubin for her op-ed piece ("Nonprofits feel the strain," Oct. 21) about nonprofit agencies and their need for support from the community. Her article was particularly timely as nonprofits "feel the strain" from withering government funding and the diminishing support from corporations that have been so dependable in the past.

Ms. Rubin's idea, suggesting that concerned individuals give a donation to their favorite charity in the name of a friend or family member instead of bringing the requisite hostess gift to a holiday party, was an excellent one.

We at SERV Behavioral Health System Inc. - a statewide nonprofit behavioral health-care organization serving adults and children who are working to recover from and cope with serious mental illness, addictions, challenging behaviors or developmental disabilities - would like to suggest a few more ways to help a favorite charity.

SERV, which is headquartered in Ewing, not only accepts monetary donations but also donations of goods or services that help us in furthering our mission. These include everything from printing and design services to clothing and holiday gifts for clients. Another way would be through Bequests and Planned Gifts, which someone designates to an agency from his or her estate. While there are several ways to make a Planned Gift, the easiest method is through a bequest. This can be done by adding a few lines (or codicil) to a will.

There are as many ways to contribute to a charity as there are individuals needing the services of these agencies. When a monetary donation is prohibitive, services and goods are a welcomed alternative.

~ Gary van Nostrand