As April 18th draws near, the flurry of activity surrounding taxes can leave children wondering what it’s all about. In the first episode of its latest season, which airs later this month, BizKid$ tries to explain the tax system to budding financial gurus. Other new episodes of public television’s Emmy Award-winning series on financial literacy will discuss debt and credit, big purchases, the stock market, starting a business, how to make a million dollars, business scams, and the value of currency. You can catch BizKid$ episodes on WTVP every Sunday at 5:30pm.
Deduct Job Search Expenses
Are you one of the many unemployed American workers still searching for a job? It’s not much of a silver lining, but don’t forget that your job search may be tax-deductible. According to hrblock.com, “Job search expenses can be deducted as miscellaneous itemized tax deductions if you look for a job in the same field at the same level as the one you left.” Expenses such as employment agency fees, resume preparation and travel may be deductible even if you don’t get the job, as long as your combined miscellaneous itemized deductions amount to more than two percent of your adjusted gross income.
Are You a Donor?
Modern medicine promises life-saving organ and tissue transplants, but to fulfill that promise, surgeons need organs and tissue from people like you. If you’re not already registered, this is the month to sign up—it’s National Donate Life Month. Prior to 2006, family consent was needed for a person’s organs or tissue to be donated, but that changed with the creation of the Organ/Tissue Donor Registry, which is legally binding for all who sign. To ensure your wishes are honored, join the registry by calling 800-210-2106 or by visiting lifegoeson.com or any Illinois driver services facility.
Stop the Vicious Cycle!
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and with five children dying every day in this country due to abuse or neglect, we thought this would be a good time to learn more from some local experts.
This year, four local organizations have teamed up to present a united front against child abuse. Working in collaboration, Crittenton Centers, The Center for Prevention of Abuse, Tazewell County Children’s Advocacy Center and the Pediatric Resource Center were able to secure a grant from the Mental Health Remembrance Leadership Fund and the Hotel Père Marquette Charitable Fund of The Community Foundation of Central Illinois.
“We felt that the united force could be much more powerful,” said Cindy Fischer, executive director of Crittenton Centers. “We could get more accomplished in our mission of educating, and working together would result in more efficiency in the use of funding and resources.”
The grant covers the costs of distributing 1,000 posters with information on what child abuse looks like, how to prevent it and where to get help. “Child abuse seems to be this vicious cycle that continues on generation after generation,” said Fischer. Only through education and mentoring, she says, can we put an end to it.
You Should Know…
- Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, in all religions and at all levels of education.
- 90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way; 68% are abused by family members.
- Children who have been sexually abused are 2.5 times more likely to abuse alcohol and 3.8 times more likely to become addicted to drugs.
- Over 60% of people in drug rehabilitation centers report being abused or neglected as a child.
- About 80% of 21-year-olds abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.
- Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy and three times more likely to practice unsafe sex.
- Children who experience child abuse and neglect are 59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28% more likely to be arrested as an adult and 30% more likely to commit violent crime.
- 36.7% of all women in prison and 14.4% of all men in prison in the U.S. were abused as children.
- About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse.
You can become involved by educating others in the community, not only about child abuse and its signs, but where to get help. You can also support the work of these local organizations by donating your time, talents or treasure. If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-4-A-CHILD for a hotline counselor. To report abuse, call DCFS at 1-800-25ABUSE.
A kickoff brunch for Child Abuse Prevention Month will be held at The Center for Prevention of Abuse on April 5th at 11am. On April 15th, area organizations dedicated to children’s issues will meet at noon at the Peoria County Courthouse for “Hands Around the Courthouse” to bring attention to child abuse. Keep an eye out for other events of these organizations throughout the month of April.
My Favorite…Activities in Peoria
Linda Maricle is the executive director of the Memorial Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. She has spent over 25 years as a breast cancer/women’s health advocate in Illinois and is currently focused on promoting a statewide effort to “paint the state of Illinois pink.” She has also worked in early childhood development and advocacy, and spent 16 years in the private and public school arenas and 10 years in elected public office as a school board member and president of Peoria Heights Community Unit School District #325.
- Top of my list, of course…Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, May 7, 2011 at the Metro Centre. Get a team together and join in the celebration. My family and friends have been there together for 26 years!
- Concerts and fireworks in Glen Oak Park and along Peoria’s Riverfront…outside on a starlit night enjoying the gathering of friends and family!
- A “play date” with my grandchildren, Ethan, Lucie and Arlis, at Peoria’s great parks on a sunny day.
- Early-morning walks on Grandview Drive with my husband, enjoying the beautiful view of sunrise!
- Christmastime in Peoria…love the parades, lights and all the celebrations of the “reason for the season.” My husband and I both twirled in the Santa Claus Parade when we were four years old. (Six decades later we are still “marching” together!) iBi