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New Amazon Shopping Site to Benefit Local Nonprofits

Customers who visit Amazon's newest site can contribute to local nonprofits by simply shopping. With no cap on how much money it'll donate, the new site has the potential to make a big difference in the operation of local nonprofits.

Update:

Today, Meals on Wheels Plus in Abilene became one of more than a million charities registered for Amazon's new site, AmazonSmile. The nonprofit will soon be eligible to receive donations from the site every time a customer chooses the group at checkout.

'Hug-A-Root' family farms is a small nonprofit that was started last year. It focuses on promoting healthy eating through organically-grown gardens. Abilene resident, Josh Casey, founded 'Hug-A-Root'. Currently, his organization operates under Mission Abilene, but will soon be under a nonprofit umbrella of its own. Church offerings delegated for the organization is what now funds its mission. But Casey says more community donations are necessary to really get 'Hug-A-Root' off the ground. That's where AmazonSmile could come in. Casey hopes it will serve as another outlet for locals to donate to his organization.

But in order to ensure that can happen, Casey will have to register for the program. He, and any other group registered as a 501 (c)(3) organization, can do so by logging onto org.amazon.com.

There are other sites like Amazon's newest initiative, and leaders of nonprofits like Meals on Wheels Plus and 'Hug-A-Root' hope that more are to come.

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Amazon buyers who want to give a little something to charity can now do their shopping on the retailer's new site, AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com). Launched last week, AmazonSmile promises to donate 0.5 percent of a shopper's total purchase to the nonprofit of the shopper's choice. The first time you visit the site, you can choose one of the charities spotlighted by Amazon or pick your own by typing its name in the search field. Million of organizations are already registered to receive donations through the site, including some in the Big Country.

According to Amazon, AmazonSmile features everything you'd found on the regular site. There is no cap on the amount Amazon will donate and almost every product sold by the company is eligible. The list of products excludes digital goods. like Kindle Fire and iPad.

So what does this new site mean for local nonprofits? From those just getting their feet off the ground to the more established organizations, an increase in donations through such a site could mean endless opportunities. KTAB LaDyrian Cole talked to two nonprofits in Abilene about how AmazonSmile could impact their mission and operation.  More on that tonight at 10 on KTAB news.

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