we are mainly good at marlboro and marlboro cigarettes, as we know, the cigarettes are mainly comprised by 3 parts: the tobacco, the smoking paper and the filter.
High fuel prices hit nonprofits High gasoline prices aren crunching just businesses and individuals. They also taking their toll on nonprofits that rely on volunteer drivers. Senate bill would ease that burden by increasing the individual mileage reimbursement rate volunteers can file on their tax returns. The legislation, introduced Aug. 1 and known as the GIVE Act, would increase the reimbursement rate from 14 cents per mile to 70 percent of the standard business mileage rate currently 58.5 cents or 41 cents. Many of Prince George 3,000 plus nonprofits, 80 percent of which have budgets below $25,000, say they too are seeing the impact of high gas prices on their volunteer efforts. Most say the rate is so low that volunteers find it not worth the trouble of including it with their tax filing. Jean Guiffre, founder and executive director of Top Banana Home Delivered Groceries in Brandywine, called the 14 cent rate hurting food programs. This is keeping people away, Guiffre said. Top Banana delivers groceries to the homes of people unable to shop. Nationally, 58 percent of Meals On Wheels programs, similar to Top Banana, that responded to a program study said they lost volunteers due to high gas prices, according to the nonprofit Web site. Beth Hess, director of communications for the Center for Nonprofit Advancement in Washington, said the volunteer reimbursement rate hasn changed significantly since 1997, though it was raised temporarily to 45 cents in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The center, along with more than 100 national nonprofits, is endorsing the Senate bill. need to get the word out since we don have much time before the session ends, Hess said. Judith McDonald, president and CEO of the Wishing Well in Hyattsville, said her volunteers travel up to 50 miles per week, and gas prices have already cost the nonprofit 30 volunteers this year. The Wishing Well provides support services and emergency transitional housing to honorably discharged homeless veterans. increase would be a tremendous help to offset the costs, McDonald said. will help when we are trying to recruit over the phone. It an incentive to them. nonprofits accounted for about 198.6 million volunteer hours, worth $3.9 billion in services, annually from 2005 to 2007, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service. Many nonprofit programs are based solely on volunteers, said Mac Ramsey, executive director for The Arc of Prince George Volunteers for The Arc, which provides services to people with developmental disabilities, travel anywhere from 10 to 100 miles each month. hard enough to find volunteers; some of these people are already working two jobs to stay afloat, he said. Ann Marie Bisner, executive director of the county Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, said volunteers are starting to look more at a child location than the actual case when deciding which cases to take, limiting the best matchups. But some volunteers still overlook how much gas or work they put into their services, saying it because they truly enjoy what they doing. just combine lots of trips, said Gerta Parr of Upper Marlboro, who has traveled more than 80 miles per week to work in The Arc thrift shop the last two years. think the increase would be great. I think there a lot more out there more stretched than I am. End Story area >