The mission of Russell Child Development is "to lay a foundation of success for all young children and their families through the delivery of high quality, inclusive services."

Funding for the early childhood programs we sponsor has always been unpredictable, and as we near the end of our 47th year of service in southwest Kansas, we face even greater uncertainties due to the troubled economy and policymakers' shifting priorities.

The quality of life we prize here comes with a cost. In no small part, that cost is borne by private individuals who contribute their own personal resources to keep organizations such as ours financially healthy. RCD has always relied upon the support of private citizens, and that support has never been more critical. The young people we serve are not "in need" we are "in need" of their potential. What could be a higher priority than investing in the time and resources necessary for building solid foundations for our children? We know that meeting the needs of young children produces both short- and long-term personal, societal and economic growth.

RCD has demonstrated its ability to provide fiscally responsible, effective and efficient children's services. Won't you please join us in prioritizing children in southwest Kansas by contributing to the sustainability of our agency and its vital programs? It is the accumulation of one-time and annual gifts, both modest and substantial, that makes a difference. There are some basic rules and tax assumptions governing charitable giving. In general, a gift to a qualified charity, or nonprofit such as RCD warrants an income tax deduction. The value of the deduction depends on your income tax rate. Options for planned giving include such things as memorials, the gift of life insurance policies, real estate and other properties, and designations within trust documents. Qualified advice is available from tax attorneys and advisors, community foundations, and banking trust departments.

You also can give by attending our annual Fantasy Tree Festival Fundraiser on Nov. 17, purchasing chance drawing tickets or sending a cash donation. Our theme for this year's event is "The Magic of Childhood." Visit or find us on Facebook for more information about this signature event. If you are interested in discussing gift options, in finding out more about the services we provide in your community, or in scheduling a presentation for your civic or community group, please contact me at or at 275-0291.

"There is magic, but you have to be the magician. You have to make the magic happen." Sidney Sheldon