Did you know that Amazon will make a donation to your favorite charity every time you shop at the International House of Bezos? Instead of, go to and tell it which organization you would like to support. Then shop as usual. The donation is very small—one half of one percent of whatever you spend. So, buy $100 worth of books and fifty cents will go to feed the starving orphans or whatever. But hey, if a lot of hundred-dollar book buyers are sending their four bits to the orphans, that adds up to a lot of food.

I have it set to donate to the organization I work for, which I admit is a tad self-serving. Though the agency does great and important work in the community, it also pays my salary. On the other hand, I work in the Resource Development department and damn it, my book buying is developing resources.

It’s kind of a big deal that Amazon is donating at all. The company is known for remarkable stinginess in spite of its immense resources. There’s no company foundation or corporate giving program, not even for the charities that are literally next door to the home offices.

Recently my boss asked me why we get big $$$ grants from Walmart but much smaller gifts from Costco. Given that Costco has a reputation as a great employer while Walmart treats its workers like the dog shit on the Walton family shoes, wouldn’t one expect the opposite?

I guess Walmart uses some of the profits it inflates by underpaying workers to make large charitable donations. And don’t get me wrong—I think Costco ought to pony up a bit more. But maybe there wouldn’t be so great a need for human service organizations if so many people weren’t going hungry while working at their McWalmart jobs. Just my four bits.

 More personal angst tomorrow, probably.


7 thoughts on “Smile

  1. I just finished serving up all kinds of data for our grant writer on a Walmart grant. It’s definitely hard to correlate the hell that is Walmart with the deep pockets we ask to find our good cause….which most likely involves providing care to some of their employees.

  2. This is actually perfect, since I’ve been paralyzed with guilt after reading about their business practices.

    Most likely, the people who run Walmart (still the Waltons? I have no idea) use the charity to justify their business practices. They also probably feel like those business practices made Walmart…well, Walmart. It can be difficult to see the error of your ways when you’re rolling around in piles of cash.

  3. did not know.

    charity: know plenty of people, PLENTY of people, who give lots of money to charity but feel entitled to treat everyone else in the world however they want.

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