While this blog lives on the Immanuel Foundation website, it’s not really about asking for donations. Instead, it’s about sharing stories of the work we do. But Amazon Prime Day starts at 1pm Mountain Time today (more on what that is in a minute), so I thought I’d take this opportunity to write a little bit about how easy it can be to be philanthropic in the twenty-first century. Of course, we all want to be thoughtful about how we direct our gifts so we can make sure they’re going to organizations we genuinely support. So giving wisely can take a lot of time and research. But not always. Sometimes, giving is easy.
I’m thinking about this right now because July 16th-17th bring us Prime Day, Amazon’s 36 hours of discounts for members of its Prime program. If you’re thinking right now that that sounds like the ultimate made-up holiday created purely to justify consumerist excess, you and I are on the same page (but, um, we might also be on that page, trying to figure out whether there will be any good deals on things we, er, need). On its face, Prime Day doesn’t sound like much of an occasion for philanthropy.
But it could be! Immanuel Lutheran Communities participates in the Amazon Smile program. If you shop at smile.amazon.com and choose Immanuel Lutheran Communities as your designated charity, a percentage of your eligible purchases will go to help seniors in the Flathead Valley. There’s no additional cost to you, and once you’ve chosen your charity, you don’t need to do anything except start shopping at the “smile” page rather than at the regular Amazon page. Just think, you could get a great deal on a Fire TV Cube (once you figure out what that actually is) and help care for seniors!
Prime Day might, in fact, be mostly a day of buying “presents” for yourself. But simply by doing your shopping that day on Amazon Smile, you can give presents to Immanuel residents as well. Giving via Amazon Smile doesn’t cost you anything more than what you’re already paying for the items you buy. The donation comes from Amazon’s foundation to our foundation—all you do is direct it (while shopping!). I think most of us in the Flathead Valley would agree that online retailers have made it much easier for us to get the things we want and need in a timely fashion. Conveniently, they’ve also made it easier than ever to give back to our friends and neighbors here in our home community.