Depending on where you shop, retailers including most supermarkets may ask you to contribute to a charitable cause. Some ask if you'd like to make a donation to things like the Children's Miracle Network (Walmart, Publix), MDA, etc.
Food Lion chose to partner with its customers to help end hunger by offering specially-marked "Food Lion Feeds" reusable bags for sale in its stores from early July through early August, promising to donate five meals to local food banks in partnership with Feeding America for each bag sold. The reusable bag campaign will help nourish families and their neighbors in need by helping provide more than a million meals in local communities across Food Lion’s 10-state footprint.
Increasingly a common fundraising method is 'rounding up' of your purchase to the next dollar. That's the method used by Harris Teeter for various charitable causes. Recently, they raised funds for the USO, and currently (through mid-October) they're asking customers to 'round up' to the next dollar with proceeds going to the United Way. They promise that all funds collected at checkout will remain local, as donations are given to the United Way chapter in the community where the money was donated. Last year, they raised just over half a million dollars for several United Way chapters.
That's one of the methods used by Bi-Lo, which together with the other stores who are part of the Southeastern Grocers group (Harvey's, Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Más) donated nearly $375,000 to the American Heart Association in August, bringing the total donation to the organization to more than $659,000 this year.
There are many local, regional and national charities and causes that are worthy of support. Direct fundraising is both time-consuming and often much less successful than the request for a small donation or 'rounding up' of a purchase amount while shopping.
For the businesses, it's good public relations; for the charities, it's a significant help in supplementing their other fundraising activities.
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