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Smile — You can support your favorite, local charity every time you buy online

By Paul Viau | May 11, 2016
Photo by: File photo IT'S NEVER TOO LATTE — Make a local charity happy. Put a smile on your Amazon.com purchases with AmazonSmile

Every time I see a UPS truck roll up our driveway, I have mixed emotions.

One one hand, it’s no-doubt a delivery of household goods we need. On the other hand, I probably could have purchased many of those same products locally.

It’s a dilemma, to be sure, but I have overcome any guilt of not always buying locally, by always supporting a local charity when I buy online.

What’s my secret? It’s a little-known offering from America’s largest online merchant — Amazon.com — called AmazonSmile.

AmazonSmile offers the same products, prices and helpful buying services as the Amazon.com you know and love. But when you shop on AmazonSmile, 0.5 percent of the sales price of all eligible products is donated to the charity of your choice.

I know that sounds like a small percentage, but over time, all your purchases will add up, along with all the purchases of others who have designated your same charity. At a time when charitable donations are hard to come-by, AmazonSmile can make the difference between a charity reaching its fundraising goals or falling short.

Now it’s probably not a surprise to anyone that the Viau family supports Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation, and that is our charity of choice for AmazonSmile. So as Amazon Prime members, we not only get all of our disposable kitty litterboxes shipped second day free from Amazon.com, we also can ‘Smile’ (with a capital ‘S’ because were helping to end euthanasia of healthy and adoptable dogs and cats in Haywood County.

Many other Sarge’s supporters have similarly changed their regular Amazon.com accounts to AmazonSmile.

The more the merrier for our pet population.

Now, as you are reading this, there is probably a charitable organization that comes to mind where you would like your Amazon.com purchases to contribute to its fundraising efforts. To find out if that organization is registered benefactor of, visit www.Smile.Amazon.com.

There are already nearly one million 501(c)(3) charities already eligible for AmazonSmile contributions. if your organization is not yet eligible, you can begin the process to ‘register’ with AmazonSmile, by visiting https://org.amazon.com/ref=smi_se_saas_org_org.

By the way, if you don’t want to take the time to copy this link, go to the online version of this column on The Mountaineer web site, and click on the appropriate link within the story.

If you just want more information about AmazonSmile, visit http://smile.amazon.com/gp/aw/ch/about. Hopefully, that will answer any of your questions.

Now, before ending, I want to brag on my son, Nate, who after he left the U.S. Air Force, joined Amazon.com. He was able to take us inside a large Amazon warehouse in Kentucky, for a personal tour of the miles of conveyor belts and surrounding multi-story stacks of merchandise and marveled at the complexity of the operation.

Nate now manages the Amazon.com facilities equipped with state-of-the-art robotic systems doing most of the order filling. One day, we hope to see how Amazon robotics works, ‘up close and personal.’

In the meantime, we will continue to have an Amazon ‘Smile’ for Sarge’s every time we make an online purchase. And we hope you want to ‘Smile’ on your favorite charity, too.

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