Holiday Charity: Gifts With Good Karma

  • Giving Made Easy

    If the sound of Salvation Army bell-ringers makes you think of your own empty pockets, it’s probably difficult to donate anything more than loose change. That said, some retailers and other companies are making it easier to be a philanthropist this holiday. Here are some ways you can give to charities effortlessly. Photo Credit: Monica's Dad
    GoodShop
  • GoodShop

    Online shoppers can give to charity without doing much more than executing their usual shopping strategy. GoodShop.com is an online shopping portal where consumers can find big-name retailers that give a percentage of their earnings to the charity of your choice. Just go to the GoodShop site, choose a charity from a list of online retailers (including Amazon.com (Stock Quote: AMZN) , Macy’s (Stock Quote: M), Apple (Stock Quote: AAPL), Best Buy (Stock Quote: BBY) and Sephora). Depending on the retailer, the amount going to charity can range from 1% to 30% according to the site’s co-founder, Ken Ramberg. “A lot of people want to give, and nonprofits are in need of funding truly more than ever and this is probably the easiest way that people can support their favorite cause without having to reach any further into their own pockets.” says Ramberg. “It’s the easiest way to make every gift that you give count twice.” Click here to learn more. Photo Credit: GoodShop.com
    GoodSearch
  • GoodSearch

    GoodSearch might be an even easier way to give money to charity, especially if you’re a Web search addict or you’re not necessarily shopping yet. GoodSearch is a Yahoo-powered search engine that gives a penny on average to the charity of your choice every time you search through the site. Organizations receiving donations from GoodSearch include large national and international charities like UNICEF as well as local animal shelters and parent-teacher associations. So far, the site receives about 1.5 million unique visitors per month. Click here to learn more. Photo Credit: GoodSearch.com
    Starlight Children’s Foundation
  • Starlight Children’s Foundation

    Through the Starlight Children’s Foundation Web site, online shoppers can buy items like candles, jewelry and food, and a specific dollar amount out of the proceeds will go to the foundation, a group that works to “educate, entertain and inspire seriously ill children,” according to the group’s Web site. If you buy a $25 scented soy candle from the Starlight online store as a gift, for instance, one third of the proceeds go to the foundation. Click here to learn more. Photo Credit: Starlight Children's Foundation
    Giving Works on eBay
  • Giving Works on eBay

    Both shoppers and sellers can feel good about their eBay transactions when they make them through Giving Works, which is an eBay (Stock Quote: EBAY) service. Sellers can list their items for sale and decide how much of the proceeds, between 10% and 100%, will go to the charity of their choice. They also get their own eBay Giving Works page that’s searchable by cause, name or location. Shoppers can choose to buy items based on the charities that will benefit from their purchase. Or if you’d rather just give a few dollars to charity, eBay members with a PayPal account can make a donation through the Giving Works Donate Now Section. Click here to learn more. Photo Credit: eBay
    Toys “R” Us
  • Toys “R” Us

    Fans of Toys “R” Us can help a good cause without spending a dime. For every Facebook fan either Toys “R” Us or Babies “R” Us gets before Christmas Eve, the company donates $1 to Toys for Tots. The Toys “R” Us Facebook page features Shaquille O'Neal, aka “Shaq-A-Claus” as a part of the retailer’s Join Shaq Give Back program. Toys for Tots collects and distributes toys to needy kids, aiming to send “a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens,” the organization says. Click here to learn more. Photo Credit: Toys “R” Us
    Macy's
  • Macy's

    Whenever a Macy’s shopper delivers a stamped letter to Santa at one of the retailer’s stores, Macy’s will give $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation up to a $1 million limit through its “Believe” campaign. The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses, such as vacations with family, parties and meeting celebrities. Click here to learn more. Photo Credit: macys.com
    Target
  • Target

    Target Stores are selling packs of five $5 gift coins, and for every pack sold, $2 will go to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, The Houston Chronicle notes. And the individual gift coins could be a money-saving gift option if you’re planning to curb your holiday spending this year. St. Jude’s is a pediatric treatment and research facility caring for kids with cancer and other serious diseases and it does not turn away patients if they can’t afford the cost of treatment. Click here to learn more. Photo Credit: Target.com
    Donating Miles
  • Donating Miles

    Frequent and not-so-frequent fliers who are members of airline rewards programs can donate accumulated miles through a number of charities helping children, military families, the sick, the hungry and those otherwise disadvantaged across the country. You can donate your miles through the American Red Cross, United Airlines, Miracle Flights for Kids and Fisher House, a group that provides assistance for military service members and their families. Photo Credit: JoshuaDavisPhotography.COM
    Stamps for Charity
  • Stamps for Charity

    Snail mail surges near the holidays, and some Americans send more traditional mail around Christmas time than they do during the rest of the year. So if you need to stock up on stamps anyway, the United States Postal Service offers a way to give to charity without going out of your way to. The USPS sells breast cancer awareness stamps for 55 cents each, slightly above the regular 44 cents for a domestic first-class stamp. Of that extra surcharge, 70% goes to the National Institutes of Health for breast cancer research. Click here to learn more. Photo Credit: USPS.com
    Sip for the Cure
  • Sip for the Cure

    Those who warm up with a cup of tea in the winter can donate money to breast cancer research every time they buy The Republic of Tea branded products with a Sip for the Cure label. Proceeds of each product go to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation for breast cancer research, the organization also responsible for Race for the Cure fundraisers across the country. Click here to learn more. Photo Credit: The Republic of Tea
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