Amazon allows chance to give back; bigger picture exists

Mitchell Sevigny

Charity is encouraged on all levels of life, including here at NMU. Organizations like Superior Edge, Student Leader Fellowship Program and Volunteer Center all make that point abundantly clear.

Mitchell Sevigny
Mitchell Sevigny

However, many students lack both the ability to give time and money to charities, even though they would be supporting causes they are passionate about.There is a way to donate money to charities without creating a financial burden on myself. It was quite easy too. Smile is a division of Amazon that donates a portion of your purchases to a charitable organization of your choice.

Once on Smile, you log on with your Amazon username and password. Smile has several of their own spotlight organizations such as the American Red Cross, St. Jude’s Cancer Research, and the Nature Conservancy. You simply buy whatever you were going to buy on Amazon like textbooks, toys, clothing, health supplies or electronics, but with the new added twist of donating to charity

How it works is that when you check out a small portion of your payment is donated to your charity.  For example, if you buy a $100 television, a small portion of that $100 is donated to your charity automatically. You still get your television, and a charity gets a dollar. You spend the money you would have normally spent and the charity contribution does not take any extra money.

Smile is certainly an amazing and respectable program, however, donating a few cents a purchase should never replace actually donating your time and money to a local or regional cause.  Donate your time to local charities and volunteer opportunities like UPAWS, Marquette General Hospital, or Make a Difference Day. Smile is a great way to get started and stay consistent with charitable contributions while also contributing to great organizations.

But that shouldn’t stop you from giving away your recyclables, participating in penny wars, purchasing from a small businesses or writing a check to a nonprofit in Marquette.

A big part of charity is giving back to your community, and Smile cannot do that. I urge you to look into programs here at Northern such as Superior Edge, and the Volunteer Center to get started with local charities and causes. The biggest problem with students and charity is that it can be quite difficult to find the extra money to give, but with the beauty of Smile, you can have your cake and eat it too.

You can use Smile to buy all the things you were going to buy anyway while also getting all those good vibes that one gets from giving to charity.Smile is a great way to introduce someone to the world of charitable donations and can act as a great stepping stone into volunteer work and donations here in Marquette.

So please, feel free to splurge those dollars, and that student loan supply money on the hottest items, textbooks and other necessities at smile.amazon.com, where you can buy what you need while also loading up on that sweet, sweet karma.

But don’t forget about joining in on the amazing local causes and charities around us.