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Mainor Legislation to Establish Big Brothers, Big Sisters Foundation of New Jersey Fund

Bill Would Allow Taxpayers to Contribute at Tax Time

(Trenton)- Assembly Democrat Charles Mainor (D-Hudson) has recently introduced legislation that would establish the Big Brothers Big Sisters Foundation of New Jersey Fund and allow taxpayers to support the programs and services of the organization through state income tax returns.

Mainor notes in the bill that, as a nonprofit organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters relies heavily upon the generosity of donors. The intention of his legislation is to help increase donations made to the organization by creating a fund and a special designation on the state gross income tax form through which taxpayers can make voluntary contributions.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters is a 5019(c)3 nonprofit organization, operating two separate mentoring programs in New Jersey. These programs provide role-models to over 5,000 “at-risk” youth throughout the state. An additional 1,000 children are in the process of becoming participants in the program.

“In the current economy, valuable programs such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters are finding it more and more difficult to acquire funding,” Mainor said. “This is an outstanding organization whose mentoring programs have encouraged excellence in New Jersey’s children. I’m surprised this designation on the state income tax return, which has helped many organizations, has not been added prior to this bill. Supporting Big Brothers and Big Sisters sustains the services and programs thousands of New Jersey parents rely on for their children.”

The mentoring relationships fostered by Big Brothers Big Sisters invaluably impact the lives of the children participating in the program. The children who participate are 46 percent less likely to begin using illegal drugs. Moreover, after 18 months of participation, they are 52 percent less likely to skip school. Further, the mentoring relationship often improves relationships with the child’s family.

“Gangs and drugs are more prevalent in our communities than years ago. Parents need the kind of support Big Brother Big Sister mentoring services provide,” added Mainor. “Programs which steer youth away from these ills are invaluable and deserve our support.”

The bill was introduced during the last voting session.