This time of year seems to be nothing but special shopping days. The news is full of talk of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. It seems like all talk is about shopping.
As a reaction to this, today has been designated “Giving Tuesday” – a day to think of others and to give back to the community. It was created by New York’s 92nd Street Y with the help of the United Nations Foundation two years ago. They have a variety of tools and ideas for giving on their site, which I encourage you to do.
One dead simple thing you can do requires very little effort, if you already are doing holiday shopping at Amazon. I’ve written before about how many skeptic websites and organizations can be supported by shopping using their Amazon affiliate links. You can even support this site by shopping at What’s the Harm.
Since I wrote that post, Amazon introduced an even easier way to support non-profit organizations – they call it Amazon Smile. It allows you to designate your favorite non-profit to get a donation when you shop at Amazon. Many of the national non-profits familiar to skeptics are available to designate in the program, including:
- Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
- Foundation Beyond Belief
- James Randi Educational Foundation
- Secular Student Alliance
- Skeptics Society
There are many more, be sure to use the search function to find your favorite. But don’t just think about national organizations, you may also be able to support a local skeptic group such as:
- Bay Area Skeptics
- Black Skeptics (Los Angeles)
- National Capital Area Skeptics
- New York City Skeptics
- North Texas Skeptics
So if you do some of your holiday shopping at Amazon this year, make sure to start at smile.amazon.com and designate a non-profit when prompted. You have to return to that link each time you start a new shopping session to have your purchases count.
To help you remember to do this, there are plugins for Chrome and Firefox (and bookmarklets for other browsers), you’ll be prompted to install the appropriate one when you pick a charity:
This will provide a handy shortcut that you can click to be sure your purchases count. Be sure to note your designated charity on the top line of every web page as you shop.
But most of all, have a happy holiday season.