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Charity Begins @ Home

LongIsland.com

It's that time of year again...Thanksgiving, and the holiday season. A time for being thankful for all we have,and for giving back. But, as the holiday season approaches , we are all too harried about ...

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It's that time of year again...Thanksgiving, and the holiday season. A time for being thankful for all we have,and for giving back. But, as the holiday season approaches , we are all too harried about all we must do to prepare for this year's celebrations.

Too busy to attend that $500-a-plate dinner, mail in a donation, or participate in a hop-a-thon at your child's school? Thanks to a handful of big-hearted new Web sites, doing good just got a whole lot easier! Now there's an easier way to save the world: by sitting at home and shopping . In a rare convergence of corporate marketing and the common good , a handful of new for-profit Web sites are leading online shoppers to top Internet retailing sites, and then donating a portion of each shopper's bill to a favorite charity.

Who would have guessed that adults spend an average of 16 times as many hours selecting clothes (145.6 hours a year) as they do on planning their retirement? We've all done it before; standing in front of dressing room mirrors at department stores double-checking the fit of a new outfit, and then rechecking the fit at home in our own mirrors. The same applies to almost every other purchase we make. Along with the gas money saved by shopping online, shoppers can now get free memberships, access to hundreds of brand name merchants... super savings and deals every day.

Shoppers will be glad to know that they can shop at great stores in these cyber shopping malls, which means that there are two ways to buy those designer shoes without feeling guilty. One involves sitting in the store's shoe department with your eyes shut while you sign the credit card slip. The other is to do your holiday shopping at an on-line charity shopping mall, where you can snap up all of your heart's desires, and have a percentage of your purchases go directly to a charity.

That's right, go head and buy something for yourself -- a new CD, the latest bestseller, essentials like toothpaste or vitamins, even a computer, all in the name of philanthropy, while the retailers and the umbrella site absorb the cost of your donation.

Recently, a Long Island based child safety organization proved the benefits of this growing e-commerce trend. Supporters experienced the power of Internet marketing at it's most beneficent. These online charity shopping malls enabled hundreds of supporters to shop at hundreds of merchants and simultaneously support The As Safe As Possible Campaign. Today as opportunities for opportunities for government funding for preventive programs becomes increasingly competitive, the need for alternative methods of raising funds to deliver important information regarding health and wellness is crucial. In addition, this phenomenon is raising awareness for not-for-profit organizations in a way that writing a check just couldn't.

The As Safe As Possible Campaign, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preventing childhood injuries, with it's headquarters in Great Neck, recently distributed halloween safety checklists to thousands of parents at two halloween events at shopping malls on Long Island. The cost of printing of the checklists was made possible partially through funds it's supporters have raised by doing their everyday online shopping through an online charity shopping mall.

"We're excited about the continued funds this technology will raise for keeping young children safe. We are a relatively new organization and are always looking for ways to reach new supporters, and build stronger relationships with our existing supporters. Childhood injuries are the greatest threat to the well being of young children in the United States. Our mission, since 1993, is to raise awareness of this crisis, and to develop concrete strategies to prevent these mostly preventable occurrences, said the organization's Executive Director.

Imagine how much money could go to the many organizations in need of financial support, if Long Islanders did all of their shopping online at a charity shopping mall? Membership is free and your privacy is guaranteed. Many organizations will miss out on much needed funds, if you don't join.

Resource Box: Follows are three charity shopping malls for you to consider:
www.iGive.com
www.GreaterGood.com
www.DonateTo.com

Of special interest: In association with Igive.com,The As Safe As Possible Campaign, is hosting a "click-a-thon", where supporters can join, raise funds for the organization and win a $50 shopping spree for themselves. For details, go to www.AsSafeAsPossible.org, click on the "events" page. Hurry, this opportunity expires 11/30/00.