Oklahomans soon will receive an early Christmas gift in the mail.

The gift will be tax rebate checks from the State of Oklahoma. The checks are scheduled to be delivered from late November to mid-December.

The rebates were the idea of Gov. Brad Henry, part of his plan to devote surplus revenues to tax reductions and high-tech research.

Every person who paid income taxes in Oklahoma will receive a rebate of about $45, while couples will receive a check for about $90.

Granted, $45 won’t change anybody’s life. It won’t put you on easy street. It doesn’t mean your ship has come in — more like a dinghy.

So what can you do with $45? You can fill your gas tank, maybe. You can buy a nice meal for you and a loved one. You can buy a Christmas gift or two. You can put it away for a rainy day.

Or, you can donate it to a charity that can really use it. United Way’s annual fund-raising campaign is still ongoing. The drive has raised about half of its $655,000 goal.

Other local charities worth considering are Our Daily Bread, Salvation Army, Horn of Plenty and Shepherd’s Cupboard, the food pantry at Bethany United Methodist Church.

A donation to help those left homeless by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita would be another alternative. The American Red Cross continues to raise funds for the hurricane-relief effort.

There also are funds set up to raise money for victims of last December’s killer tsunami, as well as those affected by recent floods and mudslides in Guatemala and the deadly earthquake in Pakistan.

That’s not to mention organizations like American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Habitat For Humanity and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which always can use a little cash.

Or you could put your tax rebate in the offering plate at church.

No matter which organization you choose, we would urge everyone to consider donating their tax rebate to the charity of choice.

Put your rebate money to work for somebody else.

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