*A Collaborative Post
As a teenager I spent most of my free time volunteering for local charities.
I always knew I wanted to work with children and volunteering not only gave me valuable experience but it taught me a lot about the kind of teacher I wanted to be. I stood and watched people selflessly give their time to others as they moved about their days. No one clock watched, or tried to pass off an unwanted task to someone else, instead they simply did what needed to be done to ensure every child had the best possible time.
We took children on holidays they would never otherwise have had, gave parents respite they desperately needed and watched young people forge friendships that would last well into their adulthood.
But those of us who helped were the true winners. And I will never forget how I felt watching those moments unfold as I gave the gifts I was able to give.
These days, a combination of teaching, family life and blogging means my opportunities to give are far fewer. I often wish I could do more.
So when I realised that although physically being present in the way I used to be is now harder than it was, there was still a way I could give to charities I care about I was more than a little delighted.
Especially as I can do so without leaving my family. In fact even better I can do so, whilst buying them things that they need.
You see, Amazon have launched a new initiative. It’s called AmazonSmile and the name could not be a more apt one. After all, it’s all about giving back to charities you care about.
Instead of going to amazon.co.uk if you head to their charity URL smile.amazon.co.uk you will see exactly the same Amazon store you are used to, but whilst you shop Amazon will give 0.5% of the purchase price from eligible products (excluding shipping, VAT and returns) to your choice from one of ten charities.
Charities like Cancer Research UK, Magic Breakfast, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and Save the Children are amongst those currently on the list. But Amazon aren’t intending to stop there, promising that from early this year all UK registered charities will be invited to take part.
Given the amount of money I spend on Amazon, from books, to teaching supplies to things for the children, not to mention last minute birthday gifts for friends and family, I know that even this small percentage will soon add up to a sum of money that could make a difference.
Since launching the scheme in the US it has helped to raise over $62 million to over 230,000 charities and Amazon are hoping over time to see the same kind of results in the UK.
It’s an initiative I’m proud to support.
I love that it’s another small way of helping to bring about change in the world. It’s why I blog. It’s why I teach. And I love that I can now do it whilst I shop too.