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Meet Our Summer Intern, Hunter Orme

POSTED ON June 7th, 2016  - POSTED IN Uncategorized

Hunter Blog pic“My name is Robert Hunter Orme, but I go by my middle name Hunter. The reason I tell people my full name is because I have to write Robert on all of my legal and school documents.” This is how I introduce myself to just about everyone new I meet (in a professional setting) because they are not sure what name to call me. I figured this would also be the perfect way to introduce myself to anybody reading this.

 

A LITTLE BACKGROUND ABOUT MYSELF

My story is nothing spectacular but is nothing close to boring. I was born in Greenfield, Indiana and raised in Rushville, Indiana. I am a senior at Indiana University while getting a major in sport marketing and management with a minor is business marketing. Like most guys my age interested in sports, I played them at one point or another. Growing up I was pretty athletic, playing four sports during junior high and three during high school. I am about 6’6” 200 pounds right now, but in high school, I was a couple inches shorter and about 30-40 pounds lighter. I was a decent basketball player but always excelled in baseball. From the age of 11, I played travel baseball. I played or practiced the majority of the year for about 7 years, and even more in high school. Hours and hours spent training and practicing for hopes of a D1 scholarship and a chance at eventually getting drafted. To make a very long story short, when I was 16 I had my first surgery on my elbow. When I was 18 I had another, and my dreams were now unattainable. I tried to play at a small D3 college, but I just could not do it anymore because of my lack of arm strength and quit playing for good. I finished the school year there and transferred to IU to continue my education.

IRA Charitable Rollover

POSTED ON December 22nd, 2015  - POSTED IN Tax Benefit

Orig post www.independentsector.org | Re-Post Sports World 12/22/2015

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The House and Senate have passed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, which makes permanent three charitable giving tax incentives which have been expired since January 1, 2015, including the IRA charitable rollover.

THE ISSUE
The IRA Charitable Rollover provision allows individuals who have reached age 70½ to donate up to $100,000 to charitable organizations directly from their Individual Retirement Account (IRA), without treating the distribution as taxable income. The provision is part of a package of 55 temporary tax extenders that were reinstated retroactively for only the 2014 tax year, but expired again on January 1, 2015.

LATEST NEWS
Congress passes tax bill including permanence for three charitable giving incentives
Following House passage of a tax bill including numerous permanent extenders and the Fiscal Year 2016 Omnibus spending bill, the Senate passed by a vote of 65 to 33 a larger package combining the two pieces of legislation. The House had earlier voted 318 to 109 in support of the extenders measure, with 77 Democrats joining all but three of their Republican colleagues in voting yes. The Omnibus bill, which also includes a two-year delay in implementation for the so-called “Cadillac tax”, enjoyed greater bipartisan support, with 166 Democrats joining 150 Republicans to pass the bill by a vote of 316 to 113. Following approval of a unanimous consent agreement yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was able to bring the expansive measure to the Senate floor under expedited procedures which allowed for very quick votes.

Broad tax extenders bill released, includes permanence and enhancements for charitable provisions
On December 16, following a late-night House Republican conference meeting the night before, House Ways And Means Chair Kevin Brady (R-TX), Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and ranking member Ron Wyden (D-OR), jointly announced a deal on a broad tax extenders package which would make a number of provisions, including the three charitable giving incentives, permanent. Further, the provisions relating to donations of land conservation easements and excess food inventory would both be enhanced and expanded. Other provisions would be reinstated through 2019, reinstated through 2106, or in some cases, gradually phased out. In a press release issued by the three taxwriters, Wyden noted that “this bill highlights clear priorities for reforming our tax system. … Charities can confidently plan and expand the good work they do.” While the current bill (the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act or PATH Act) enjoys support from both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, and Republicans in the House, support from House Democrats is less certain. Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) have both been vocal about their opposition to the emerging extenders package, and House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) did not join the other three taxwriters in announcing the release of the PATH Act. The process for floor consideration is yet to be announced, but previous indications had been that the House might vote separately on the extenders package and the omnibus bill, which was released at the same time, and then package the two together to speed consideration in the Senate.

Independent Sector and 19 other nonprofits urge immediate Congressional action on charitable giving incentives
Independent Sector and the Council on Foundations, supported by 18 other leading philanthropic and charitable organizations, sent a letter on October 21 calling for swift legislative action, urging Congress to take immediate steps to make permanent the three currently expired charitable giving incentives that are part of the tax extenders package. Collectively representing tens of thousands of charities and foundations across the charitable sector, these organizations reiterated that that without incentives permanently reinstated, “many of the donations the incentives were intended to promote will simply not take place.”

Independent Sector joins national coalition of over 2,000 urging Congress to act
Independent Sector, along with a broad national coalition of over 2,000 businesses, associations, and other charitable organizations recently signed onto a joint letter to Congress asking that they restore seamlessly the expired tax provisions, and make permanent those for charitable giving. IS continues to fight for permanent extension of these giving incentives, and thanks all those who answered our call to add their name to this letter, as we partner with a diverse range of industries to urge Congress to take decisive action.

Click here for full article…

Tax Benefits of Giving

POSTED ON December 16th, 2015  - POSTED IN Tax Benefit

Orig Post charitynavigator.org | Re-Post Sports World Inc. 12/16/2015

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The following is a brief summary of certain federal income tax laws for informational purposes only. We urge you to consult your tax advisor for the federal, state, and local tax consequences of a charitable contribution.

Benefits to You of Giving to Charity

While we believe at Charity Navigator that your primary motivation to donate to charity should be altruism, we also think you should know that great tax benefits exist for those who give. Here are some of the benefits you should know about.

  • A gift to a qualified charitable organization may entitle you to a charitable contribution deduction against your income tax if you itemize deductions. If the gifts are deductible, the actual cost of the donation is reduced by your tax savings. For example, if you are in the 33% tax bracket, the actual cost of a $100 donation is only $67 ($100 less the $33 tax savings). As your income tax bracket increases, the real cost of your charitable gift decreases, making contributions more attractive for those in higher brackets. The actual cost to a person in the lowest bracket, 15%, for a $100 contribution is $85. For a person in the highest bracket, 35%, the actual cost is only $65. Not only can the wealthy afford to give more, but they receive a larger reward for giving.
  • A contribution to a qualified charity is deductible in the year in which it is paid. Putting the check in the mail to the charity constitutes payment. A contribution made on a credit card is deductible in the year it is charged to your credit card, even if payment to the credit card company is made in a later year.
  • Most, but not all, charitable organizations qualify for a charitable contribution deduction. You can deduct contributions only if they are made to or for the use of a qualified recipient. No charitable contribution deduction is allowed for gifts to certain other kinds of organizations, even if those organizations are exempt from income tax. Contributions to foreign governments, foreign charities, and certain private foundations similarly are not deductible. Below, you can view a list of organizations for which your donations can be deducted. All organizations rated by Charity Navigator qualify for charitable status, and you can deduct your donations, subject to certain limitations.

An organization could lose its charity status if it devotes a substantial part of its activities to formulating propaganda or otherwise trying to influence legislation. However, an organization, other than a church, may qualify as a charity and still perform some of these activities by keeping its political expenditures to an “insubstantial” part of its activities. Furthermore, donations to needy individuals are not deductible.

Click here to read full article…

18 Ways To Show Your Teen You Are Thankful For Them

POSTED ON November 18th, 2015  - POSTED IN Helping Teens

Orig Post www.operationparent.org | Re-Post Sports World 11/18/2015

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1. Advise when asked. There will be times your teen will come to you to fix a problem. But generally, only offer advice if they ask for it. Be sparing. Too much advice can feel like judgment to a teen. Listen to them when they talk to you – really listen, don’t just nod along. Sometimes it’s just as important to hear what they aren’t saying as it is to hear the actual words.

2. Look at them. I am guilty of doing other things while listening to my kids, which means I’m not giving them my undivided attention. Sometimes, our kids need us to look at them when they talk so they know that they are the most important thing to us in that moment.

3. Talk & Laugh. Spend time talking with your teens. Tell them about your day, about what life was like when you were their ages, what you’re struggling with. Laughing together is a great feeling that creates security and trust. Find a way to laugh with (not at!) your teen!

4. Say yes. Sometimes it’s easy to say no without really thinking about the request. Give your teens some freedom, let them take (reasonable) risks, and give them a chance to make their own choices.

5. Say no. They may be teens and they may be morphing into adults, but teens still need boundaries. Provide them, with love.

6. Respect their struggles. Sometimes those things our teens are struggling with seem so insignificant in comparison to our adult struggles, but it’s all a matter of perspective. Their struggles are very real and very important to them. Remind yourself, when your child is stressing about something that seems trivial to you, that it’s not trivial to them. Respect what they’re going through.

Click here to read full article…

Former LA Laker Motivates CHS Students to Make Right Choices

POSTED ON November 5th, 2015  - POSTED IN Helping Teens

Orig PosAt thetelegraph.com | Re=Post Sports World 11/05/2015

Sport Talk

EDWARDSVILLE — The importance of making good choices is the message that former Los Angeles Laker player Adrian Branch brought to a group of students at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Center on Oct. 27.

“In your life, you are not born a winner or a loser,” said the 6-foot, 7-inch former guard/forward. “You are born a chooser. Your choices determine who you become.”

Branch, now a college basketball analyst for ESPN, came to the Center after learning that his engagement to speak at an East St. Louis school had been thwarted due to School District 189’s strike. He spoke with approximately 35 young people, including ninth and tenth grade males from the East St. Louis Charter High School (CHS) and Upward Bound East St. Louis, Cahokia (EC) male and female students.

Branch stood in the middle of the assembled group and discussed academic excellence, integrity, peer excellence, respectful relationships and achieving dreams.

He recounted for the students his high school days of developing into a star basketball player.

“I played for the winningest coach in the history of high school – Morgan Wooten at DeMatha Catholic High School in (Hyattsville) Maryland – and I got the big head,” Branch said. “I was concentrating on ‘showboating’ and looking good.”

Wooten threw Branch off the team. He was only allowed back after the players voted for him to return, and he apologized. But Branch said he did not learn his lesson.

Click here to read full article…

Haunting Facts about Alcohol Abuse and Halloween

POSTED ON October 21st, 2015  - POSTED IN Alcohol Awareness

Orig Post preventalcoholmisuse.wordpress.com | Repost Sportsworld 10/21/2015

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Halloween is typically seen as the true beginning of the fall and winter holiday season. As many people know, the holidays can be a challenging time of year for some folks. Those who have family dysfunction or those who have lost loved ones are often lonely, depressed, or stressed around the holidays. Some people are stressed due to strapped financial situations and feel added pressure to spend money during the holidays. All of these pressures can lead people to abuse alcohol and other drugs when the holiday season starts up. Since Halloween is the first up, we are going to discuss some haunting facts about Halloween Alcohol Abuse and ways to keep yourself and children safe.

1. Halloween, a night when small children are out trick-or-treating, sees an increase in drunk drivers. In 2008, 58% of all driving fatalities on Halloween night involved drunk drivers. (Source)

2. Because Halloween is a social holiday for most people, there is a greater possibility of being exposed to alcohol at parties and gatherings. This can lead to an increase in drinking and subsequently impaired driving.

3. Most people do not plan ahead for safe travel on Halloween night.

MADD.org shares the stories of Jean Dyess and Jessica Fraire to help inspire people to remember the dangers of alcohol abuse on Halloween. Please read them and pass them along to your friends so that they can be more sober-minded about the upcoming holiday.

Click here to read full article…

The Secret Life of Bullies: Why They Do It—and How to Stop Them

POSTED ON October 6th, 2015  - POSTED IN Bullying

Orig Post www.empoweringparents.com | Re-Post Sports World 10/6/2015

bully 300 wideWhy do some kids turn to bullying? The answer is simple: it solves their social problems. After all, it’s easier to bully somebody than to work things out, manage your emotions, and learn to solve problems. Bullying is the proverbial “easy way out,” and sadly, some kids take it.

Look at men who beat or intimidate their wives and scream at their kids. They’ve never learned to be effective spouses or parents. Instead, they’re really bullies. And the other people in those families live in fear—fear that they’re going to be yelled at, called names, or hit. Nothing has to be worked out, because the bully always gets his way. The chain of command has been established by force, and the whole mindset becomes, “If you’d only do what I say, there’d be peace around here.” So the bully’s attitude is, “Give me my way or face my aggression.”

Aggression can either take the forms of violence or emotional abuse. I’ve seen many families that operate this way. I’m not just talking about the adults in the family, either—there are countless children who throw tantrums for the same reason: they’re saying, “Give me my way or face my behavior.” And if you as a parent don’t start dealing with those tantrums early, your child may develop larger behavior problems as they grow older.

Ask yourself this question: How many passive bullies do you know? They usually control others through verbal abuse and insults and by making people feel small. They’re very negative, critical people. The threat is always in the background that they’re going to break something or call somebody names or hit someone if they are disagreed with. Realize that the behavior doesn’t start when someone is in their teens—it usually begins when a child is five or six.

Portrait of a Bully

Bullying itself can come from a variety of sources. One source, as I mentioned, is bullying at home—maybe there are older siblings, extended family members or parents who use aggression or intimidation to get their way. I also think part of the development of bullying can stem from some type of undiagnosed or diagnosed learning disability which inhibits the child’s ability to learn both social and problem-solving skills.

Make no mistake, kids use bullying primarily to replace the social skills they’re supposed to develop in grade school, middle school and high school. As children go through their developmental stages, they should be finding ways of working problems out and getting along with other people. This includes learning how to read social situations, make friends, and understand their social environment.

Bullies use aggression, and some use violence and verbal abuse, to supplant those skills. So in effect, they don’t have to learn problem solving, because they just threaten the other kids. They don’t have to learn how to work things out because they just push their classmates or call them names. They don’t have to learn how to get along with other people—they just control them. The way they’re solving problems is through brute force and intimidation. So by the time that child reaches ten, bullying is pretty ingrained—it has become their natural response to any situation where they feel socially awkward, insecure, frightened, bored or embarrassed.

Here is what an aggressive bully often looks like: He doesn’t know how to get along with other kids, so he’s usually not trying to play with them. When you look out on the playground at recess, he’s probably alone. He’s not playing soccer or kickball with the other children; he’s roaming around the perimeter of all the interactions that take place at school on a daily basis. And whenever he’s confronted with a problem or feels insecure, he takes that out on somebody else. He does this by putting somebody else down verbally or physically. A child who bullies might also throw or break things in order to feel better and more powerful about himself. When the bully feels powerless and afraid, he’s much more likely to be aggressive, because that makes him feel powerful and in control. That’s a very seductive kind of thing for kids; it’s very hard for them to let go of that power.

Click here for full story…

Confidence-Building Exercises for Teens

POSTED ON September 22nd, 2015  - POSTED IN Helping Teens

Origi Post 7mindsets.com | Re-Post Sports World 9/22/2015

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Depression is ten times more prevalent today than it was in 1960, and the average onset age is now 14.5 years old vs. 29.6 years of age just 50 years ago. For any parent or teacher, this is a terrifying trend. As a culture, we’re vastly more depressed, and it’s starting much, much younger.

Over the past decade, I’ve learned quite a bit about youth depression in our youth, and the most notable factor behind it is disengagement. Our children, for one reason or another, are checking out, and their feelings of powerlessness are driving increased negativity and depression.

Because students lack confidence in their own abilities, as well as in the people and support structures around them, seemingly small challenges can lock them up and start the downward spiral. Many psychologists and educators believe that Resilience, the ability to deal with overcoming adversity, is the antidote to the depression epidemic that’s facing our nation today.

In our work, we often measure the impact of our programs through their ability to impact student Resilience. Using a tool called The Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents, we measure three areas:

  1. Sense of mastery, which tracks optimism, self-efficacy, and adaptability (essentially one’s confidence in their own abilities).
  2. Sense of relatedness, which measures trust, support, comfort and tolerance (one’s confidence in the people and support structures around them).
  3. Emotional reactivity, the measurement of sensitivity, recovery and impairment – this area looks at a person’s ability to make effective decisions under stress and to bounce back and recover from mistakes.

As we look to build our children’s confidence levels, it’s helpful to be prepared with strategies that are certain to increase their self-confidence, bolster their belief in those around them, and support their ability to make good decisions and recover from adversity.

Click Here to view full story…

Suicide Prevention Day Matters

POSTED ON September 9th, 2015  - POSTED IN Suicide Awareness

Orig Post postcrescent.com | Re-Post So-Mark 9/8/15

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Sept. 10 is Suicide Prevention Day. For many people, suicide remains an abstract problem that plagues other people in other places. But, for Fox Cities high school students and parents who have lost children to suicide, it is a very real epidemic that affects us all.

Many suicide statistics are conflicting and outdated. The 2013 Centers for Disease Control Fatal Injury Report provides the most recent national statistics available. Two years ago, 41,149 suicides were reported, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death in America, accounting for one death by suicide every 12.8 minutes. Men are four times more likely to die by suicide, while women make more attempts. The most common method for suicide is guns, at 51 percent.

The highest-risk age group is age 45 to 85. That does not mean our local teens are not at risk.

National averages tell us that 1 in 5 teens has thought of suicide, 1 in 6 has made a plan, and 1 in 11 has attempted to take his or her own life. For every 25 teens who attempt, one dies, creating 6,000 teen suicides each year.

For parents, though, there is hope. We can fight teen suicides.

Fox Cities parents who have lost teens and young adults to suicide urge us not to give up. I asked what they wanted others to know. Parents I interviewed said that raising awareness about the warning signs of suicide and prevention education is critical to saving young lives. None of the parents thought suicide would happen in their family and all of them shared regrets of not doing more to help their son or daughter before it was too late.

Through their collective tragedies, we can learn five valuable lessons that may save other young lives.

Know the signs: Educate yourself about the warning signs of suicide. Think through what you could do if you encounter someone who is exhibiting suicidal behavior. Being prepared will prevent hesitating when it matters most.

Be aware: You will never regret being more connected to your son or daughter or other teens in your life. Listen to what they say. Read between the lines. Get to know their friends and develop relationships with others in their life. Ask probing questions and stay involved. Resist the temptation to “give them their space.” Snoop first and apologize later. Be on the lookout for significant changes in words, drawings, dress and behavior.

Be a friend: Don’t minimize your relationship with a person who exhibits suicidal characteristics or signs of depression. You may be the closest friend they have. Don’t look the other way. Be available and show interest. Share your concerns openly and honestly. Let them know you care. Use encouraging words and combat loneliness and feelings of worthlessness by pursuing them. Your friendship may make the difference between life and death.

Take action: Don’t be afraid to get involved. Secrets are dangerous. It is better to overreact than carry regret for a lifetime. If you sense someone is in immediate danger, call 911. If you recognize the warning signs of suicide or learn something personal that makes you think someone may try to harm himself or herself, get help. Tell a teacher, parent, law enforcement officer or other trusted adult. An anonymous welfare tip is better than no tip and may save a life.

Get help: If you have suicidal thoughts or feelings yourself, get help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others who can help. You are not alone. Tell a friend, call a helpline or contact a mental health professional. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. There are people available who understand what you are going through and you can recover.

WARNING SIGNS OF SUICIDE

Suicide signs that warrant an immediate call to 911:

  • Threatening to hurt or kill himself or herself
  • Talking, drawing or writing about wanting to hurt or kill himself or herself
  • Actively seeking access to firearms, available pills or other means
  • Discussing a detailed plan to end his or her life
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Text messages or social media posts that threaten suicide

Contact a mental health professional or suicide help line if you hear about or see someone exhibiting one or more of these suicidal behaviors:

  • Feelings of extreme hopelessness
  • Feeling trapped with no way out
  • Exhibiting rage, uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities
  • Increased alcohol or drug use
  • Feeling like a burden to others
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Withdrawing from friends, family and society
  • Experiencing anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
  • Giving away personal belongings
  • Dramatic mood changes

HOW TO GET HELP

For more information about suicide prevention, please call or visit these respected suicide prevention resources:

Outagamie County crisis: 800-719-4418
Winnebago County Crisis: 920-233-7707
Text “HOPELINE” to 741741
www.centerforsuicideawareness.org
www.afsp.org
www.suicidology.org/ncpys
www.preventsuicidewi.org
www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
www.iasp.info

The truth about underage drinking in the summer

POSTED ON August 24th, 2015  - POSTED IN Alcohol Awareness

Original Post nextstepcommunitysolutions.com | Re-Post Sports World 8/24/15

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Summer is a time for teens to experience freedom from school and spend time with friends and family. However, extra free time and lenient rules can also increase underage drinking.

A new survey by Caron Treatment Centers reveals 61 percent identified summer as the season teens are most likely to engage in underage drinking.

The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, summer vacation for most students, has been called “The 100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers. Nine of the 10 deadliest days for youth on U.S. highways fall between May and August. One reason is that teens are drinking at younger ages.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 5.8 percent of teens ages 16 and 17, and 15.1 percent of 18 to 20 year olds reported driving under the influence of alcohol in 2010.

In Texas, the average age of first use of alcohol is 13.5, compared to the state average of 16.

Our three youth substance abuse prevention coalitions work to make changes at the environmental level so it makes it harder for those to drink underage, but we still need help from parents.

The Caron survey also found that:

  • Only two-fifths have parents with a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking
  • 41 percent believed it’s best for teenagers to learn to ‘drink responsibly’ in high school rather than waiting until they’re of legal age
  • 29 percent agreed it was fine for high-school students to drink as long as they don’t drive

These statistics show that there a lack of education to parents about the severe dangers of underage drinking.

Research indicates that brain development is still in progress during adolescence, with significant changes continuing into the mid-20s. Immature brain regions place teenagers at elevated risk to the effects of alcohol.

The crucial prefrontal area undergoes the most change during adolescence. Researchers found that adolescent drinking could cause severe changes in this area, which plays an important role in forming adult personality and behavior. Damage from alcohol at this time can be long-term and irreversible.

The hippocampus, involved in learning and memory, suffers the worst alcohol related brain damage in teens. Long-term, heavy drinking causes teens to have a 10 percent smaller hippocampi.

In addition, short-term or moderate drinking impairs learning and memory far more in youths than adults. Frequent drinkers may never be able to catch up in adulthood since alcohol inhibits systems crucial for storing new information.

Another reason to delay the first use of alcohol is that the earlier children drink, the greater the chance of becoming alcohol dependent.

Children who begin drinking at age 13 have a 45 percent chance of becoming alcohol-dependent. A person who starts drinking at the legal age of 21 has only a 7 percent chance of becoming addicted.

Brain development and increased risk of addiction are only two of the negative consequences of underage drinking. Others include death, poor academic performance, increases risk for physical and sexual assault and impaired judgement.

Everyone has a role in preventing underage drinking and it’s imperative that we help inform those around us about the dangers of underage drinking.