Harvest can help charities, too
Harvest can be a time of plenty, not just for farmers but also for charities they support.
In June, a Marion couple’s wheat harvest helped St. Luke Hospital and Living Center’s capital campaign fund.
When they took their grain to Cooperative Grain and Supply, Skip and Eileen Sieger set aside bushels to be transferred into an account for the hospital’s capital campaign instead of being credited on their own behalf.
The Siegers declined to say how many bushels they donated.
Donating grain to a charity is a common practice among farmers, according to Dick Tippen in the grain accounting department of Cooperative Grain and Supply.
“The charity makes the decision when to sell it,” Tippen said. “When they decide to sell, the check goes to the charity.”
Donated grain does not count toward a farmer’s sale profits, so it isn’t taxable income for the farmer, Tippen said.
All the Co-Op needs is a mailing address for the charity.
Skip Sieger said the main reason to give grain was that it could be given as a commodity. The charity receiving the gift can sell it when it chooses.
The couple has donated grain in the past, he said.
He hasn’t decided whether he will donate soybeans when his recently planted bean crop is harvested, but he said that if he had a good harvest, he might donate part of it.
Eileen Sieger said she had deep appreciation for both the hospital and the living center.
She stressed the important role St. Luke fills in providing local medical care in a rural community. People don’t have to drive far away when routine or emergency services are needed.
“My mother was in the living center,” she said. “We have a real bond to that place.”
Eileen also is a member of the hospital auxiliary and donates time and goods to its thrift shop.
Launched in August, St. Luke’s $1.5 million capital campaign is halfway to its goal. The campaign is to upgrade the 32-bed living center and add to the medical clinic.
At the living center, the ventilation system will be replaced and the front entrance and living area will be expanded and redesigned.
Hallways, floors and resident rooms will get updates as well. Most of the clinic work already has been completed.
“One of the great aspects about this campaign is there are numerous ways to donate in addition to cash,” Mike Norris, campaign manager for St. Luke, said. “For example, a gift of grain, stock, real estate, etc. acts the same as cash in the end for St. Luke and usually provides some sort of tax benefit for the donor. If getting creative with an alternative to cash is the way for them to go, then we’re thrilled to accept their contribution and just as happy that they will benefit as well.”