I'm sure most of us won't be standing in lines outside stores at 5 am on Black Friday, but if you're like me, you probably do most of your shopping online. I do plan to take advantage of the sales and discounts on Cyber Monday (November 30 this year). I can usually get almost all of my holiday shopping done online, with a quick stop at the drugstore or Target for stocking stuffers.
Did you know that you can donate to your favorite charities and medical research organizations while online shopping...without spending a dime? There are several ways to do this. In each case, you choose the organization to donate to, and the online store donates a percentage of your purchase to them (the amount varies by store), so it costs you nothing! I usually choose the Solve ME/CFS Initiative because they have spearheaded and financed some of the most important, ground-breaking research in our field and have been at it the longest, since 1987. You can look for your favorite charity or organization and choose whichever one is important to you.
Here are three ways to donate while shopping:
iGive - Choose your charity, then click on various online stores through the iGive page to automatically donate. This is the shopping engine I use the most, and my iGive page tells me that my own shopping has donated over $200 to the Solve ME/CFS Initiative, of a total $6229.31 donated to that group through iGive! Bonus: when you use iGive, coupon codes for the store where you are shopping automatically pop up, so you can save, shop and donate all at once!
GoodShop - Works pretty much the same way as iGive - you choose your charity/research organization, then shop through their portal. Like iGive, GoodShop also provides you with any relevant coupon codes for your store. If you are looking for a particular charity or want to shop at a certain store, you can check both portals to see where your favorites are.
AmazonSmile - As usual, Amazon does things their own way. They have their own system that works the same way as iGive or GoodShop. Just go to the AmazonSmile page instead of the usual Amazon home page, choose your charity and a portion of what you buy is donated. More information about AmazonSmile here. Since they sell pretty much everything, you can raise a lot of money for your cause this way. We buy ALL of our supplements through Amazon (they have a huge selection and low prices), so we donate through them all year long. You just have to remember to go to AmazonSmile instead of the main Amazon page, but they have a convenient button you can download to help you remember (iGive and GoodShop also offer buttons & mobile apps) - and it is still your own Amazon account.
So make that holiday shopping list and get ready to contribute to your favorite causes from your couch! And remember to use these services & portals all year long, for ordering supplements, drugstore items, books, or whatever you normally buy online.
I'm getting ready for Cyber Monday!