Last-Minute Giving Guide

While charitable donations can be made and will help keep critically important community resources in operation year-round, you have until Dec. 31 to contribute to your favorite nonprofits and still receive a deduction on your 2017 taxes. Checks must be mailed on Saturday, Dec. 30, by 1 p.m. in Beacon and noon in Cold Spring and Garrison, when the post office counters close. Credit card payments, however, can be processed until midnight on Sunday, Dec. 31. (If you prefer to give your time, most of these organizations also welcome volunteers.) Don’t worry: if you’re reading this in 2018, you’re way ahead of the game for next year’s return — as long as you still itemize after the standard deduction doubles under the new tax law.

Generosity Defined
What does it mean this time of year?

By Michael Turton

In the 1980s I helped out with a fundraising drive organized by a local non-profit in Windsor, Ontario. The Good Fellows (not to be confused with characters in Goodfellas) do one project a year: They raise money to fill baskets with turkey and the trimmings, treats and necessities for families who need help at Christmas. People make a small donation to “buy” a one-sheet newspaper explaining the campaign. The traditional donation was $1.

When my neighbor brought the project to our little-less-than-a-hamlet, I volunteered and was assigned a 5-mile stretch of the rural highway between Oldcastle and Maidstone. My job was to distribute the newspapers door-to-door, asking for donations.

Off I went on the first Saturday morning in December. I had about 50 houses to cover and was determined to hit every one. Almost everyone was home and all made a donation, typically $1, although a few people gave $2.

When I was almost done, I came upon a ramshackle house with a beat-up car in the driveway. Someone poor lives here, I thought to myself. Why am I asking for money? But, I also wanted to fulfill my pledge of going to every house.

I knocked. No answer. I was relieved but knocked again. The door opened. Before me stood a thin, middle-aged man who had obviously been sleeping. His hair was disheveled. His face had a few days of stubble, and he wore a T-shirt and baggy jeans.

I felt like a complete ass and wished I had not knocked, but it was too late.  “I’m collecting for the Good Fellows,” I said. “By any chance would you care to make a small donation?” My face flushed with embarrassment.

The man reached for his wallet and plucked out a bill. “I’d be happy to,” he said. “They helped me out a few years ago.” He handed me $20.

That donation still defines “generosity” for me. He could have used that $20. His contribution was truly generous.

Happy holidays. Be generous in supporting your favorite causes.


Animal Rescue Foundation
P.O. Box 1129, Beacon, NY 12508

Dutchess County SPCA
636 Violet Ave., Hyde Park, NY 12538

Friends of the Beacon Dog Park

Putnam Service Dogs

Guiding Eyes for the Blind
611 Granite Springs Road, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

Mid Hudson Animal Aid (Cat Sanctuary)
54 Simmons Lane, Beacon, NY 12508

Putnam County SPCA
P.O. Box 850, Brewster, NY 10509

Putnam Humane Society
P.O. Box 297, Carmel, NY 10512

Putnam Service Dogs
P.O. Box 573, Brewster, NY 10509

Arts, Music & Theater

Beacon Arts Community Association
P.O. Box 727, Beacon, NY 12508

Chapel Restoration
P.O. Box 43, Cold Spring, NY 10516

Cold Spring Film Society
192 Main St., Cold Spring, NY 10516

3 Beekman St., Beacon, NY 12508

Downing Film Center
19 Front St., Newburgh, NY 12550

Garrison Art Center
23 Garrison’s Landing, Garrison, NY 10524

Howland Cultural Center (Photo by Ross Corsair)

Howland Cultural Center
477 Main St., Beacon, NY 12508

Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art
P.O. Box 209, Peekskill, NY 10566

Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival
143 Main St., Cold Spring, NY 10516

Manitoga / Russel Wright Design Center
P.O. Box 249, Garrison, NY 10524

Philipstown Depot Theatre
P.O. Box 221, Garrison, NY 10524


Denniston International
256 Main St., Cold Spring, NY 10516

Friends of Philipstown Recreation
P.O. Box 155, Cold Spring, NY 10516

Garrison Children’s Education Fund
P.O. Box 262, Garrison, NY 10524

Garrison School PTA (Photo by Sheila Williams)

Garrison School PTA
1100 Route 9D, Garrison, NY 10524

Guinan’s Aurora
P.O. Box 446, Garrison, NY 10524
Recycles bicycles for children.

Haldane Central School District PTA
15 Craigside Dr., Cold Spring, NY 10516

Haldane School Foundation
P.O. Box 364, Cold Spring, NY 10516

Hudson Valley Seed
P.O. Box 223, Beacon, NY 12508

Putnam County Children’s Committee
P.O. Box 187, Carmel, NY 10512

SHRED Foundation
94 Prospect St., Beacon, NY 12508

Saint Basil Academy
79 Saint Basil Road, Garrison, NY 10524


Catholic Charities Community Services of Dutchess County
218 Church St., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Catholic Charities Community Services of Putnam County
175 Main St., Brewster NY 10509

Community Foundation of Dutchess County
80 Washington St., Suite 201, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Community Foundation of Putnam County
80 Washington St., Suite 201, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County
2715 Route 44, Millbrook, NY 12545

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County
1 Geneva Road, Brewster, NY 10509

Fareground Community Kitchen
P.O. Box 615, Beacon, NY 12508

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh
125 Washington St., Newburgh, NY 12550

Highlands Current Inc.
161 Main St., Cold Spring, NY 10516

United Way of Dutchess-Orange Region
75 Market St., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

United Way of Westchester and Putnam
925 S. Lake Boulevard, Mahopac, NY 10541

Emergency Services

Beacon Volunteer Ambulance Corps
P.O. Box 54, Beacon, NY 12508

Cold Spring Fire Co. No. 1
154 Main St., Cold Spring, NY 10516

Continental Village Volunteer Fire Department
12 Spy Pond Road, Garrison, NY 10524

Garrison Volunteer Ambulance Corp.
P.O. Box 121, Garrison, NY 10524

Garrison Volunteer Fire Company
1616 Route 9, Garrison, NY 10524

North Highlands Engine Co. No. 1
504 Fishkill Road, Cold Spring, NY 10516

Philipstown Volunteer Ambulance Corps
14 Cedar St., Cold Spring, NY 10516


Bannerman Castle Trust
P.O. Box 843, Glenham, NY 12527

Beacon Historical Society (Photo by Robyn Wood)

Beacon Historical Society
P.O. Box 89, Beacon, NY 12508

Boscobel Restoration
1601 Route 9D, Garrison, NY 10524

Constitution Island Association
P.O. Box 126, Cold Spring, NY 10516

Dutchess County Historical Society
P.O. Box 88, Poughkeepsie, NY 12602

Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot
P.O. Box 311, Fishkill, NY 12524

Garrison’s Landing Association
P.O. Box 205, Garrison, NY 10524

Mount Beacon Incline Railway Restoration Society
P.O. Box 1248, Beacon, NY 12508

Putnam History Museum
63 Chestnut St., Cold Spring, NY 10516


Clearwater (Photo by Brian PJ Cronin)

Kids R Kids Feeding Program

Philipstown Food Pantry
10 Academy St., Cold Spring, NY 10516

St. Andrew’s & St. Luke’s Food Pantry
17 South Ave., Beacon, NY 12508


Butterfield Library
10 Morris Ave., Cold Spring, NY 10516

Desmond-Fish Library
P.O. Box 265, Garrison, NY 10524

Howland Public Library
313 Main St., Beacon, NY 12508

Natural Resources

Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries
199 Main St., Beacon, NY 12508

Beacon Sloop Club
P.O. Box 527, Beacon, NY 12508

Common Ground Farm
P.O. Box 148, Beacon, NY 12508

Constitution Marsh (Photo by Joe Brennan)

Constitution Marsh Audubon Center
P.O. Box 174, Cold Spring, NY 10516

Friends of Fahnestock and Hudson Highlands State Parks
P.O. Box 194, Cold Spring, NY 10516

Glynwood Center
P.O. Box 157, Cold Spring, NY 10516

Hudson Highlands Land Trust
P.O. Box 226, Garrison, NY 10524

Hudson River Sloop Clearwater
724 Wolcott Ave., Beacon, NY 12508

Little Stony Point Citizens Association
P.O. Box 319, Cold Spring, NY 10516

Putnam Highlands Audubon Society
P.O. Box 292, Cold Spring, NY 10516

20 Secor Road, Ossining, NY 10562

Scenic Hudson
One Civic Center Plaza, Suite 200, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Stonecrop Gardens
81 Stonecrop Lane, Cold Spring, NY 10516

Rehabilitation Services

CoveCare Center

CoveCare Center
1808 Route 6, Carmel, NY 10512

Putnam/Northern Westchester Women’s Resource Center
935 South Lake Blvd., Mahopac, NY 10541

St. Christopher’s Inn
P.O. Box 150, Garrison, NY 10524

Support Connection
40 Triangle Center, Suite 100, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

Topfield Equestrian Center
P.O. Box 367, Cold Spring, NY 10516

Walter Hoving Home
P.O. Box 194, Garrison, NY 10524

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