Shop, search, give back

This holiday seasonand year-roundit's easy for people to give to their favorite charities without spending a dime. GoodSearch.com and GoodShop.com are two websites that allow the average internet surfer or online shopper accomplish their task and donate to the organization of their choice, at the same time.

"GoodSearch is a search engine powered by Yahoo, so it's the same results. Except the first time you go on site, enter your favorite charity and every time you search, about a penny goes to that cause," said J.J. Ramburg of GoodSearch. "With GoodShop, you enter your favorite charity and then click through to more than 1,600 partner retailers we have. You shop on their site as you normally would and spend nothing extra, but a percentage of what you spend goes back to your charity. You might save money too, because we offer thousands of coupons and free shipping for those stores."

Ramburg said 500 people searching four times a day will earn approximately $7,300 a year for any given charity.

The initiative"GoodSearch was created in 2005 and GoodShop in 2007"is particularly useful now during the holidays, when people are pinched as it is, said Ramburg.

"Now with holiday shopping, what if every gift you gave helped a cause without you spending any more money," said Ramburg.

There are several Saratoga County organizations listed on GoodSearch and GoodShop, and any not on there can visit the website to find out how to get involved. Already benefiting are Waldorf School in Saratoga Springs, Sweet Adelines Interational"Saratoga Soundtrack Chorus, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Council of Saratoga County, NorthStar Church, Shelters of Saratoga, Foundation for Human Movement Studies, Round Lake Library and more.

Round Lake Library has already received just over $100 in he first six months, according to Sandra Debus. Half of that came from online purchases through GoodShop.

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