Monday, December 1, 2008

Bloggers Unite: World AIDS Day

December 1 is a Bloggers Unite Day, this one focusing on AIDS awareness.
Bloggers Unite
I’m not the first person to note that AIDS has fallen off many people’s radar. Some of this is a result of encouraging news. People are living longer, drugs are now available to make this a disease people can live with, and an HIV+ diagnosis is just not the immediate death sentence it was in the 1980s, when several of my dear friends lost their battle in harrowing illnesses within months of being diagnosed. AIDS also affects minority communities disproportionately, at least at present, which can also distract attention from those whose friends and families do not include HIV+ individuals.

But AIDS is still a problem not only worldwide, but also in the United States. Since today is also Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year, I thought I’d combine a pitch for the shopping portal iGive with our AIDS awareness post. I have an iGive badge in the right sidebar. Basically you can access almost any online merchant through the iGive portal. These merchants then rebate a small percentage of your purchase, to the nonprofit you designate. It takes a few minutes to set up an account, but after that it’s an easy peasey way to ensure your chosen nonprofit gets a kickback for a purchase you were going to make anyway.

iGive.comI have my own iGive account set to rebate to the South Central Wisconsin AIDS Network, which serves Madison and vicinity. Given the bad economy, I’ve been trying to help local groups whenever I can, and this is a solid and hard-working organization.

iGive includes two nice features: it will track your donations in a form you can use at year-end if you itemize your tax deductions (the only shopping portal I know of that does this). And they also partner with LOTS of local and community nonprofits, so it’s very likely that your favorite community organization is already there.

If you want a quick portal that doesn’t require registration, Nonprofit Shipping Mall also includes many AIDS-related national and international charities.

Today’s mitzvah: Remember to use a rebate portal when you shop online. You’re making the purchase anyway, why not have the merchant rebate for you!

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