Local non-profit reacts to Amazon shutting down charity program

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 4:40 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 News Now) - E-commerce giant Amazon is ending its charity program to cut costs.

In a letter to customers, Amazon said their “ability to have an impact was often spread too thin.” The program started in 2013. It will officially wind down on Feb. 20.

Customers who participated could donate .5% of every purchase to the charities of their choice. A search for the Peoria area on the AmazonSmile website pulls up hundreds of groups.

The Dream Center in Peoria is one of them, they said they receive about $2,000 a year from the program. It wasn’t a large portion of their budget, but Executive Director Andy King said it would help cover small costs that popped up along the way.

“Those times when we’re like ‘oh we could do with just a little bit of cash here to help with some of the things we’re buying,” King said. “Gas for the school buses we use to pick up kids...’ things like that. It’s that type of stuff that appears that we’re like ‘oh we can use that money when we’re not planning on it.’”

The Dream Center said they use Amazon to post online wish lists for people to purchase and donate items to the shelter.

Amazon said they’ll donate the equivalent of what non-profits would raise in three months’ worth using Smile. That amount will vary from charity to charity.