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Clicking for a cause

By John I. Carney, Shelbyville Times-Gazette

2734 days ago   Article ID# 24673
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United Nations World Hunger Food Program

SHELBYVILLE, TENNESSEE (Shelbyville Times-Gazette) - I got an e-mail last week from a friend and T-G reader, Donna Brock, sugesting that I feature the web site Free Rice (freerice.com) in this column.

"I loved the concept," wrote Donna, "and it is a good vocabulary builder, much like the old 'Word Power' section of Reader's Digest that I often enjoyed."

The game is simple; you are given a word, and then you must choose which of four other words is a synonym or definition of the first word. For each answer you get right, the site's sponsors donate 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Hunger Food Program.

There are several advertiser-supported web sites and affiliate programs that you can use to benefit charities in the course of your regular web activities -- like playing a game or making online purchases. They probably won't replace your intentional giving, since the actual amount given per transaction is quite small. But every little bit helps, especially in the current climate, and using these sites won't cost you anything.

Here are two charity-related sites and programs with which I'm familiar. You can use these to support charities that are already participating, or if you're active in a different charity you can find information about how to get your charity signed up to benefit from the program.

* GoodSearch (goodsearch.com): This is a search engine portal that donates a small amount to your favorite charity every time you use it. United Way of Bedford County is among the participating charities. The actual search results are provided by Yahoo, so they're basically the same results you'd get by searching at Yahoo.

* iGive (igive.com): You register with this site and then designate a particular favorite charity. When you shop at a participating online merchant, a portion of your purchase goes to the charity as a donation. There are a wide variety of participating merchants -- including some where you might already be doing some of your online shopping.

In order for the charity to benefit, you must start at the iGive portal and click through to your favorite shopping site, or else use a browser add-on which automatically detects participating web sites and makes sure your purchases go through iGive.

Using iGive does not affect the price of the items you're purchasing, by the way.

LEAMIS International Ministries, the group with which I take my foreign mission trips, uses this program.

I've also seen a number of Facebook groups promising that money will be donated for each person who joins or that money will be donated if X number of people join, or what have you. I've been a little wary of these; I can understand how advertiser-supported programs like Free Rice or GoodSearch work, and how online shopping programs like iGive work. The Facebook groups are a little less clear to me, and so I've been reluctant to give them access to my profile.

Copyright 2016 Shelbyville Times-Gazette   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 2734 days ago   Article ID# 24673

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