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Businesses that offer school contributions

Published on: September 01, 2004

I've heard that there are businesses that make
a contribution to your school if you do business with them. Do you know
about these?

Many locally owned businesses participate
in fundraisers for individual schools -- and large companies have
gotten into the act too, realizing that customers want charity dollars
to benefit local organizations. Here are a few examples:
In its Take Charge of Education program, Target
stores donate 1percent of purchases made using the Target Visa card,
and one-half of 1 percent of purchases made elsewhere (also using the
card) to the local school the customer designates. Since the program
was launched in 1997, Target has given away more than $100 million
nationwide. To be sure your child's school is on the list, go to group/schools/search_school.jhtml

Office Depot offers a 5 percent Back to School
program. You buy certain supplies, designate a school, and the school
receives a credit for 5 percent of the total purchases, to use for
supplies. This program only runs during certain periods of the year. Go
to for more information and to find the code for your school.
In March, Washington Mutual launched another great program called WaMoola for Schools® (www.wamoola

The program raises money for local schools through check card usage.
Customers with Washington Mutual check cards simply sign up and select
a school beneficiary. Then, every time they use their card, the school
will accumulate points, to be converted to cash at the end of each year.
Washington Mutual representatives say they expect the company's
community and employee giving program to total more than $115 million
in 2004, with about $24 million supporting education initiatives.

But, as we all know, money isn't everything. Your kids may be impressed
when you show them that you're spending your money wisely, and in ways
to benefit their school. But they may be even more impressed if you
volunteer your time to help other children in need.
The Seattle Public Schools provides a helpful list of organizations
they partner with to help struggling children and also lists volunteer
opportunities within the school system. Go to for more information. ™
Audrey Van Buskirk is a Seattle freelance writer and mother.

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