Chris Crain: Use AmazonSmile to help locally | TheUnion.com

Chris Crain: Use AmazonSmile to help locally

Other Voices
Chris Crain

We all love our local businesses and like to support them by shopping locally first. At times, however, selection or other considerations lead many of us to make some purchases through Amazon.

If you already shop on Amazon, there's a simple way to direct a percentage of your spending to local nonprofits, at no cost to you.

Amazon has established a program called "AmazonSmile," through which a small percentage of your purchases (0.5 percent) is donated to the charity of your choice. There's no cost to you, you still get your Amazon Prime benefits, product selection and prices remain the same — and the shopping experience is unchanged. The vast majority of products are eligible under this program, the system will show the associated money generated by you over time, and you can change your charity selection at any time.

The charity I've chosen is Partners in English Language Learning, for which I volunteer as a tutor and also serve on the board. The organization is a local one which has been serving western Nevada County since 1985, providing free one-on-one English language instruction to hundreds of students. My student is from Italy and is working toward U.S. citizenship.

Choosing any participating local charity keeps more money in our community, making a meaningful difference over time.

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So, if you shop on Amazon, please consider signing up for AmazonSmile and naming Partners in English Language Learning as your charity of choice. Alternatively, pick another local charity, returning some of your outside spending to our community. Go to http://www.smile.amazon.com for details; the sign-up process is quick and straightforward.

While 0.5 percent doesn't seem like much on any given purchase, it adds up, especially with broad community support. Choosing any participating local charity keeps more money in our community, making a meaningful difference over time. Please continue to support our local businesses, though, and maintain your already established giving practices.

Chris Crain, board member, Partners in English Language Learning