add_theme_support( 'post-thumbnails' );Amazon Launches Charity Program Just In Time for the Holidays - BANG.

Amazon Launches Charity Program Just In Time for the Holidays

With two weeks left until Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season, Amazon has made it easier than ever for people to give back to those in need with the unveiling of AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is a new project by Amazon that allows shoppers on their website to donate 0.5% of the value of their purchases to a non-profit organization of their choice.

Image via Julia Roy/Flickr.

Image via Julia Roy/Flickr.

Amazon has ensured that the process is quick and simple. All one has to do is shop at instead of the usual to enter the site. At their first visit to the site, users will be prompted to select a charitable organization of their choice from nearly a million nonprofits.

Users will also be able to change their charities at any time. Options range from national organizations such as the American Red Cross to local branches of the neighborhood YMCA. After choosing a charity, every eligible purchase made on AmazonSmile will result in a donation to that charity.

With Black Friday and the holiday shopping season on the horizon, repercussions of this project could be huge. In 2012, Amazon reported a revenue of over $61 billion. Divided by 365 days in a year and that means, on average, Amazon earned over $167 million a day. From the publishing of this article to the end of the year, there are 48 days remaining. That means AmazonSmile users could donate a total of over $4 million to various charities around the country.

Several executives from various non-profit organizations have already commended Amazon for launching the program.

Image via Amazon Smile.

Image via Amazon Smile.

“AmazonSmile allows us to reach millions of existing and new supporters who can help us find cures for cancer and save children,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO of American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC), which is the exclusive fund-raising organization of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. “Working with AmazonSmile gives us a new way to support our mission that’s simple for both us and our supporters."

“Amazon and charity: water are both known for disrupting the status quo and this program is the kind of innovation that could change the way our supporters help us bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations,” said charity: water founder and CEO, Scott Harrison. “AmazonSmile will make charitable giving easier, which is a big win for our supporters, and, most importantly, the 800 million people on the planet who don’t have clean and safe drinking water.”

AmazonSmile joins a number of other Amazon programs focused on making the world a better place. For example, Amazon’s Kaizen Program seeks to reduce all inefficiencies and waste to reduce consumption of resources and energy.

Amazon’s headquarters is a prime example of the company’s commitment to the environment, as all six buildings have earned LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council for sustainable design and construction method. Amazon has also hosted disaster relief campaigns on their homepage, made grants to the writing community and provides educators with Amazon Web Services credits.

Boston College calls upon its students to become “men and women for others.” AmazonSmile now provides students with a simple opportunity to answer this call at a time of the year when we are asked to reflect upon and be grateful for the things others still yearn for.

Featured image via Balajimuthazhagan/Wikimedia Commons.
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