Shop And Donate To Charity During Holidays - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Shop And Donate To Charity During Holidays

Updated: Dec 2, 2013 10:14 PM

After the big meal and time with family and friends many spent the Thanksgiving weekend hitting the stores for holiday shopping.

More than 141 million people shopped Thursday through Sunday, including 45 million on Thanksgiving day.

That's up 30 percent from last year according to the National Retail Federation.

On Black Friday, over three million more shopped this year than last.

Earlier Thanksgiving hours did have an impact, Shoppertrak says nearly $10 billion was spent nationwide Friday, a drop of 13 percent from 2012.

Overall sales totaled $57 billion.

Up two percent from last year.

on-line sales were up overall, as well.

Another National Retail Federation survey says 131 million shoppers expected to go online during today's cyber Monday deals.

That's double the 59 million people estimated to have shopped online over the actual weekend.

All those sales could mean a big pay day for charities if people use certain web sites.

The friends of the Moline Public Library use Goodsearch.com.

The web site gets paid for referring visitors to retailers like Amazon and Best Buy.

You just select which charity you're supporting and shop like normal, a percentage goes back to your charity of choice.

"This is just another way, another avenue to earn money for usage by the library staff," says board member Sally Rylander.

She has donated her time to the Friends of the Moline Public Library for at least a decade now. She helps run the store to fund library needs.

"We just try to make money for doing you know all the good things that the Friends do for the library and every penny helps," says Rylander.

One of the newer ways is using a web site, Goodsearch.com. Users select which participating charity they're supporting, and then search or shop.

"The last four years there's been no money in the city budget to provide programs at the library, so it's based all on donations," says Friends liaison Lisa Powell Williams.

She says the group has used Goodsearch for the last two years. It has earned about $700 each year.

"One huge book sale in addition to the bookstore operation that's open 6 days a week here," says Powell Williams.

It's fundraising with no cost or work on the library's end other than setting up the account.

"The idea came from a staff member who asked why aren't we doing this," says Powell Williams.

Rylander doesn't use the site herself, "I'm not a computer person."

As a retired first grade teacher, she says reading is essential and libraries are essential at helping teach the skill.

"In first and second grade you teach them and from third grade on, they read to learn, so they have a to get a good start," says Rylander.

Without reading, how can you decide what to buy for a present this year?

"It's very painless and it makes you feel good, by giving back," says Powell Williams.

There are dozens of Quad City non-profits registered on Goodsearch.

The web site works year round, so whether you're buying a present online, or just searching the web, your money and your time can benefit a charity at no cost to you.

Friends of the Moline Public Library gave $30,000 back to the library this year.

The money was raised from a combination of efforts.

Book sales and Birdies for Charity as well as Goodsearch.

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