Unload your unopened gifts to FIA and get a tax deduction


A two day Gift Bazaar planned in Edison, New Jersey, April 29, 30


The Federation of Indian Associations of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut (FIA) has come out with a novel idea of collecting the unopened gifts and unused merchandise and selling them to raise money for its various projects. Those who donate the items will get a tax deductible receipt for it.

The FIA officials will receive and sell the items at a two day event titled ‘Gift Bazaar’ at the TV Asia Studios in Edison, New Jersey on April 29, 30 between 10 am and 5 pm.

One can also unload the unwanted/unopened gifts and purchases to FIA by donating them earlier also. For this 3 locations were set up in New Jersey: TV Asia studios, 76 National Road, Edison; United Business Solutions Office, 1152 St. Georges Avenue, Avenel and Quick Travel,1655-260 Oak Tree Road, Edison.

For this contact Alok Kumar, vice president of FIA and chair of the Gift Bazaar project at 732 692 7507.

“Our modest goal is to raise $10,000 after paying for expenses,” Andy Bhatia, president of FIA said. “Anybody can drop items at three locations or call to arrange for a pickup.”

“The deduction is for the declared value of the donated new merchandise. It will be opened and examined to be sure that the contents are new. Defective items will not be accepted or offered for sale.

“Donated items will be sold for whatever we can get for them. It will obviously be less than the declared value,” Bhatia said. It will be a golden opportunity for those who are hunting for quick sale items  like books, CDs, watches, pens, lamps, towels, clothing, computers, office supplies, jewelry, cufflinks, kitchen gadgets, clock radios etc.,

“We are doing this for the first time so we don’t have a fixed goal but our expectation is that we can raise at least $10,000,” Kumar too said.

“Tax deduction is based on the price of the gift item. We will open the item and check the conditions of it before placing it for selling. These items will be available at the Gift Bazaar and anyone can buy it,” Kumar said.

Bhatia said he has seen unopened gifts with many people. Either they may not need it, or they may have the same gifts from several people. Such people will be more than happy to dispose of these items and get a tax break. It will benefit the FIA and the community at large.

The FIA is best known for putting together an annual India Day Parade in Manhattan which, over the years, has drawn A-list celebrities from India.

Bhatia and the current officials plan to build on the popularity of FIA’s programs. The ‘Dance Pe Chance,’ a dance competition to celebrate India’s Republic Day, rocked Plainfield High School, New Jersey, on January 28, which drew 450 young dancers on stage and 1500 audience members. Encouraged, the FIA now plans to organize another such event in Queens, New York, in the fall.

A college fair for students is also in the pipeline, with experts at hand to guide the young participants. Bhatia’s vision is to expand the FIA’s work outside the bustling New York City, into the suburbs as well as Connecticut.

Recently, the FIA organized events to welcome  and Navtej Sarna, the Indian ambassador to the US and bid farewell to Dr . Manoj Mohapatra, the Deputy Consul General who has been reposted to Delhi. Both of these events were done in collaboration with other Indian American organizations and individuals.

Bhatia wants the India Day parade, the FIA’s flagship event which will take place on August 20 this year, to attract people from other parts of the US as well as Canada and India. “Many people want to visit the Big Apple. Why don’t we facilitate that?” he says. “They can come and attend the banquet, watch the parade, and visit other landmarks in the Big Apple. They will be given special places near the parade review stand. Towards this goal FIA will offer weekend packages to the Big Apple”


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