Easy Ways to Give Back When You Shop

img_5436With the holiday season coming up, I know a lot of people are looking for ways they can give back in their community. There are so many amazing organizations out there that need your support, and luckily many retailers offer programs that allow you to give back just by shopping for the things you normally buy. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

Today I’m sharing some of the programs I use to give back just by shopping. I’m sure there are others, but these are the ones I know about.

Lots of brands give a portion of their proceeds to charity, but the key difference with these programs is that they allow you to select a specific organization, including local ones in your own community. It’s so rewarding to be able to see your donations in action, whether it’s the local animal shelter or a food bank.

Although it may not seem like a lot, every little bit helps. I still encourage you to donate on your own to these organizations, especially during the holidays. The programs I’m about to share will allow you to continue giving all year long without even realizing you’re doing it. (Hey, we all forget sometimes and money gets tight. This solves both of those!)

Kroger Community Rewards 

If you shop at Kroger, you have to sign up for this program! It allows you to link your Kroger rewards account with an organization of your choice. Then all you have to do is shop, and Kroger will donate a portion of your purchase to the organization you selected. There is no additional cost to participate because the money is donated by Kroger.

There are literally thousands of organizations to choose from, including churches. I suggest a local organization from your community, but you can select any organization that participates in the program. The organization I selected is called Operation Military Embrace, which supports wounded, ill and deployed military service members. If you don’t see your organization in the list, encourage them to sign up and participate so they can receive money.

Your Kroger Plus card has to be linked to a digital account in order to sign up, but I’m betting yours already is (hello, ClickList!). Once you are enrolled, you can see in your account how much money has been donated from your purchases. You do have to re-enroll every year, I believe it’s in July, so be sure to set a reminder in your calendar. (I just realized as I was researching for this post that I forgot to re-enroll this year. Oops!!!! But don’t worry, you can enroll anytime, so I took care of it!)

Amazon Smile 

I know you shop on Amazon, so you should definitely be using this program! I’ll admit I don’t use it very often, but I’m going to try to do better in the new year because we buy everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, on Amazon.

All you have to do is visit smile.amazon.com and log in to your Amazon account like normal. On your first visit, you’ll be asked to select an organization to support. I selected the Wounded Warrior Project, which supports military veterans and active service members.

After you select the organization, it will be displayed in the top left under the search bar whenever you log in. Then just shop for whatever you need, and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase to the organization you selected. All of the prices are exactly the same as the regular Amazon site, so why not buy on Amazon Smile instead and help a worthy cause? You can read more details about the program here.

Your Employer

Do you know if your employer does donation matching or offers a volunteering program? Lots of companies will match your donation to a qualifying non-profit organization up to a certain amount, and many also allow employees to take additional paid time off to volunteer (without using their own PTO or vacation). If you don’t know if your company offers these, talk to your HR or community relations team to find out. It’s a super easy way to multiply your contribution to a local organization or donate your time to help a non-profit that relies on volunteers to serve the community.

If you already use any of these programs to give back to your community, then way to go! If not, I really encourage you to sign up. It’s easy, it’s free and it will be a huge blessing to whatever organization you choose to support.

If you know of any other programs like these, please share them in the comments. The more we can give, the better our world will be. 🙂

Until next time,

Christi

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