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(NewsUSA) - Gift cards are always popular gifts for birthdays, holidays and anniversaries. In fact, the National Retail Federation estimates that gift card sales will total nearly $25 billion in 2008, and a recent poll by Discover Card found that 54 percent of survey respondents said they received between one and five gift cards during the holidays.
With gift cards flooding pocketbooks and wallets, it's no surprise that some become forgotten and go unused. In order to ensure that you receive the full value of your gift cards, consider these tips offered by Discover Card: -
Put gift cards in a handy place. Many people forget that they have gift cards, so their free money goes unspent. If your gift cards usually go from your stocking to your desk drawer, consider carrying them with you so you will have them on hand at the right moment. -
Label your gift cards. Knowing the dollar amount left on the card will make shopping easier. One trick may help: Place a piece of masking tape on the back of the card, and write the new balance each time you use it. Some gift cards also have convenient lines on them so you can track the amount left after each purchase. -
Shop online. Put gift cards to good use by hitting up sales from the convenience of your home. If you shop online, store the gift card by your home computer so you remember to use it at check-out. Some gift cards can be sent electronically, so those who know they won't use a traditional gift card may opt to send or receive an e-gift card instead. -
Use gift cards to buy others' gifts. If you're on a budget, use gift cards to purchase gifts for birthdays and other occasions. If the gift card is a general-purpose card, like a Discover Gift Card, you won't be limited to one specific store -; it can be used everywhere Discover is accepted. -
Donate the gift card. Many charitable organizations accept full or partially used gift cards as donations. Check your favorite charity to see if it has this donation option. -
Swap it. There are several Web sites where you can buy, sell or trade your gift cards. Or, if you want to get creative, have a card swap with your coworkers or friends where everyone can trade for the cards he or she wants.
To find out more about Discover Gift Cards, visit www.discover.com/giftcard.
The Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau has announced the release of its 2009 visitors’ guide.
The 40-page color booklet is an informational guide to the Endless Mountains Region of Northeast Pennsylvania, covering everything from where to stay and dine, to what to see and do. It is designed with the tourist in mind, utilizing a category system that makes finding lodgings, shops, scenic sites and businesses simple.
Many people are drawn to the Endless Mountains for its rich historical background, scenic beauty and recreational opportunities. In the guide, the reader will find where all the local museums, monuments and historic sites can be found. It also points out breathtaking scenic vistas and overlooks, as well as where to enrich the mind through art exhibits, music and theatre performances. The recreation section of the guide offers a variety of seasonal activities to choose from, including biking, hiking, hunting, fishing, canoeing, golfing and skiing.
Special articles in the guide highlight the arts, Route 6, and family fun. There is also a page dedicated to the winners of the visitors bureau’s first photo contest.
The Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau is the official tourism promotion agency for Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Wyoming counties.
To receive a copy of the visitors guide, call the bureau at (570) 836-5431 or 1-800-769-8999; e-mail at email@example.com; write 4 Werks Plaza, Tunkhannock, PA 18657; or visit www.endlessmountains.org.
Montrose, PA – Frontier Communications, (NYSE: FTR), the nation's second largest rural local communications company, announced that it has provided $25,000 in scholarship support to school-aged children through The Community Foundation of Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties. The scholarship funds, which are part of the company’s participation in the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (PA EITC), will provide the opportunity for eligible children served by The Community Foundation to receive tuition assistance to attend kindergarten through secondary schools. During the 2008-2009 school year, The Community Foundation provided scholarships to pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade students residing in its two-county service area who attended 25 schools, or educational programs in four northeastern Pennsylvania counties.
The PA EITC offers tax credits to eligible businesses contributing to a state-approved scholarship organization, an educational improvement organization, and/or a pre-kindergarten scholarship organization. The businesses may direct their donations to specific scholarship organizations from a list of eligible participants listed on the PA EITC website. The Community Foundation administers all three aspects of the EITC Program.
“Frontier prides itself on giving back to the communities in which we live and work,” said Elena Kilpatrick, Frontier’s Area General Manager for Pennsylvania. “We are pleased to support programs such as the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit program and its mission to give deserving children a chance to experience private education.”
Since 2007, Frontier has donated $70,000 to The Community Foundation, which has helped almost 80 local children attend pre-kindergarten programs and close to 140 children in grades K-12 achieve their educational goals. Some examples of these programs include tuition assistance for private schools, the purchase of required supplies and testing at the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center, or tuition assistance for high school students completing college coursework. Without the assistance of corporations like Frontier, some of these children wouldn’t be given the chance to reach their full potential.
The Community Foundation of Susquehanna & Wyoming Counties has administered the EITC program for six years, and through the generous support of businesses such as Frontier Communications, has been able to provide tuition assistance to hundreds of students. Peter Quigg, Director of Development for The Community Foundation, stated, “We very much appreciate Frontier’s substantial support this year. Many of our rural families are eligible for this assistance; however, most of our local, smaller businesses don’t have the means to support these scholarships. Donations such as this from Frontier are very helpful.”
For more information about The Community Foundation and its work on behalf of local families and charities, visit www.community-foundation.org.
Just two days before Santa’s arrival, the Endless Mountains Children’s Choir from Susquehanna County performed in the state Capitol Rotunda. The youngsters, who appeared at the invitation of Rep. Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna/Wayne Wyoming), performed Christmas carols and Hanukah music in various languages including German, French, Polish, Italian, Latin and English. Dr. Christine Plonski Sezer is artistic director/founder of the choir. Visit RepMajor.com to see the choir and hear a selection of Christmas music.
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