Lee County ranks as one of most generous counties in Alabama

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Special to the
Opelika Observer

According to information gathered by SmartAdvisorMatch.com, Lee County ranks as the fourth-most generous county in Alabama in 2019 based on charitable contributions in a top-10 list compiling that data.
To compile this list, researchers looked at two factors: how much people donate as a percentage of their net income, and the proportion of people in a given county who made charitable donations.
To determine the amount of money that people donate as a percentage of their income, we first calculated the net income of all people in each county. They looked at tax return data and accounted for federal, state and local taxes paid. They also accounted for deductible entries, including mortgage interest, mortgage points and mortgage insurance payments and then divided each county’s total charitable donations by its total net income to see how much county residents are donating relative to their income.
Next, they took the total number of tax returns with charitable contributions and divided them by the number of total tax returns for each county. This gave them the proportion of people in each county who make charitable donations.
We then indexed and equally weighted the two factors to yield their most charitable places index. Following is a list of the other nine counties that made the list:
1) Shelby
2) Jefferson
3) Madison
5) Montgomery
6) Limestone
7) Tuscaloosa
8) Washington
9) St. Clair and
10) Macon.
Lee County’s generosity is on full display in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic also, as many businesses, individuals and organizations have stepped to the plate to fight the virus’s spread and help those facing medical or economic challenges.
Mama Mocha’s Coffee has temporarily closed its bodega in downtown Opelika, but there is a box outside their shop with free food and supplies to those in need.
Businesses like Griff Goods and organizations like OLLI at Auburn are crafting masks for both the public and healthcare workers to use.
Local pastors have come together to form “Pray Lee County,” an online prayer room for the religious community to pray over those on the front lines fighting the virus or battling the disease.
Each day at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., community members park on the top floor of the East Alabama Medical Center, flashing their lights in support of the medical personnel who are coming off a shift.
This community’s generosity isn’t only monetary as these examples show – it is a generosity that goes beyond physical needs and addresses the emotional and mental challenges some in our area our facing.
Together, we are #LeeCountyStrong.

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