A few weeks ago, I was considering doing away with traditional Christmas presents this year.
Instead of getting my mother in law another gift to return, I thought about purchasing a pair of sheep for a needy family in Africa (in her name, of course).
I considered buying my nieces music classes—for underprivileged girls in Honduras.
I even thought about helping my crippled grandmother build a well—for a sub-Saharan village.
But then I remembered. My family likes stuff. The more stuff the better. In fact, we like to try to bury the Christmas tree under stacks of presents. So a small envelope congratulating them on their generous donation? Would go over about as well as a lump of coal inside a Tiffany box.
The brilliant folks behind this site have made it possible to donate to all of your favorite charities, just by doing your normal holiday shopping.
Buying a new 3D TV at Best buy? Click through to the site using GiveBack.org and you’ll get 2% of the purchase price to donate how you please.
Stocking up on Pillow Pets and Playstation games at Toys R Us? Another 2 percent gets plunked right back in your foundation.
Buttering up your child’s teacher with chocolates from Godiva? Get 4 percent to give away.
Opting out of the holidays altogether by booking a trip to the Caribbean using Expedia? Score another 1 percent to buy those goats, music classes and even a donkey or two.
GiveBack.org makes even the most disgusting display of rampant consumerism an exercise in charitable giving. And that? Is a concept I can get behind.
Signing up couldn’t be easier. All you need is an email address (or a facebook account). Then all you have to do is fill up your foundation with your favorite charities and start shopping. They’ll even give you five bucks to get your philanthropic efforts started.
Oh, and by the way? By “your favorite charities,” I really do mean all your favorite charities. I’ve filled my foundation with organizations ranging from behemoths like the American Cancer Society and World Vision to itty bitty local ventures like the Bloomington Playwright’s Project and my local animal shelter.
So what are you waiting for? Go give it a whirl. You’ve got nothing to lose—and a whole lot to give.
DISCLAIMER: I found out about this organization through the One2One Network, and by writing about it, I’m registered to win a Blissdom pass. But honestly? I think this is an absolutely fantastic idea, and I’d sing their praises regardless.