By Bob Vitale
You’ve vowed not to overdo it this holiday season.
But you know you will.
Far be it from us to enable bad habits—you sure you don’t want one more slice?—but if you’re going to overspend, you might as well do some good at the same time.
More than 40 LGBTQ organizations in Ohio are part of AmazonSmile, a program of the online retailer that generates micro-donations to your favorite causes every time you make a purchase. Twenty are part of a similar initiative by Kroger in communities where the Cincinnati-based grocer has stores.
Amazon gives groups just half a cent for every dollar (50 cents per $100) spent by customers who enroll and designate a charity recipient. Kroger splits a designated amount of money each quarter among thousands of registered organizations in 16 states based on purchases by each group’s registered supporters.
But officials with the organizations that benefit say the donations add up.
And it costs you nothing.
Go to smile.amazon.com to search for organizations that have signed up for donations through AmazonSmile. You use that address as your starting point to shop on the website, too. If you’re part of an organization that wants to receive donations, visit org.amazon.com.
Look for the Kroger Community Rewards link at kroger.com or click here to register your Kroger Rewards card in that donation program. The same link offers information for organizations.
Here are the LGBT groups around Ohio that we found on both websites (let us know if we missed yours!):
Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization: Operates statewide in Ohio and works to eliminate violence in the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. BRAVO’s primary areas of focus include hate crimes, domestic violence and sexual assaults. BRAVO provides support for survivors, education for the community, and advocacy on behalf of any person who has experienced violence. (AmazonSmile and Kroger Community Rewards)
Camp Sunrise: Ohio’s only summer camp program developed specifically for children impacted by HIV/AIDS. Each summer, Camp Sunrise welcomes as many as 100 children to experience the joys of friendship, the love and support of a caring community, and an encouraging environment free of the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS. (Kroger Community Rewards)
Equality Ohio Education Fund: Advocates and educates to achieve fair treatment and equal opportunity for all Ohioans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. (AmazonSmile and Kroger Community Rewards)
Equitas Health: Our mission is to be the gateway to good health for those at risk of or affected by HIV/AIDS, for the LGBTQ community, and for those seeking a welcoming healthcare home. (AmazonSmile and Kroger Community Rewards)
TransOhio: Serves the Ohio transgender and ally communities by providing services, education, support and advocacy that promotes and improves the health, safety and life experience of the Ohio transgender individual and community. (AmazonSmile)
Southeast Ohio LGBTQ Center: Our goal is to provide full and comprehensive support and service to the LGBTQ+ community in Southeast Ohio. We initially began this process in December 2016 and held our first public meeting in January 2017. We were incorporated and became an official non-profit organization in February. (AmazonSmile)
Caracole Inc: Works to reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS through housing, care and prevention. Founded in 1987, Caracole House was the first licensed adult care facility in Ohio for people living with HIV/AIDS. Today, Caracole serves more than 1,500 clients living in an eight-county region in Southwest Ohio with six primary programs. (AmazonSmile and Kroger Community Rewards)
Cincinnati Men’s Chorus (listed as Queen City Performing Arts Organization): Through our music, we strive for excellence; support and nurture our members; entertain our audiences; and work for justice, inclusion and harmony between the gay community and the community at large. (AmazonSmile and Kroger Community Rewards)
Imperial Sovereign Queen City Court of the Buckeye Empire: Raises funds for in support of any and all charitable causes upon suggestion of the reigning monarchs and approval of the Board of Directors. Represents the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities, and all concerned individuals, in support of community functions. Creates recreational, charitable and cultural activities. (AmazonSmile and Kroger Community Rewards)
MUSE, Cincinnati Women’s Choir: An inclusive and feminist choral community advocating for peace and social justice. We unite our voices to raise awareness and inspire change in ourselves, our audiences and our world through partnerships that honor the humanity and enduring spirit of all people. (AmazonSmile and Kroger Community Rewards)
Ohio Lesbian Archives: Collects and preserves books, periodicals, papers, manuscripts and organizational archives related to lesbian and LGBTQ history and community in the greater Cincinnati area and the surrounding region. The organization hosts public educational events such as talks, discussions, workshops and film screenings related to LGBTQ and lesbian issues. (AmazonSmile)
PFLAG Cincinnati: PFLAG envisions a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed, inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. (AmazonSmile)
Proud Scholars: Provides educational services to students and their families within the LGBT community. We provide students with volunteering opportunities, mentoring and social services, corporate internship possibilities and scholarships throughout their college experience to help them build a sustainable future and create stability in their lives. (AmazonSmile and Kroger Community Rewards)
Cleveland Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Pride Inc./Cleveland Pride: Exists to be the catalyst for bringing awareness, education and knowledge of the queer community to the general public in order to discourage/eliminate prejudice and discrimination on the basis of a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. (AmazonSmile)
The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio: Works to eliminate the polarizing effects of bias, bigotry and racism that creates environments of fear, distrust and hate. Our vision is to create strong and vibrant communities that promote high-quality education for all youth, a spirit of inclusion that champions individuals and their strengths, and a diverse and productive workforce to support economic development in Northeast Ohio. (AmazonSmile)
LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland: To enrich the lives of the diverse LGBTQ community through advocacy, support, education and celebration. (AmazonSmile)
North Coast Men’s Chorus: Affirms the gay experience by presenting entertaining, quality performances for diverse audiences; providing a supportive environment for its members; and promoting a positive presence in the gay community and beyond. (AmazonSmile)
The Open and Affirming Coalition of the United Church of Christ: Provides support and sanctuary for all lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender individuals, their families and friends. Advocate for full inclusion of all people in church and society and promote Christ’s affirming message of love and justice for all. (AmazonSmile)
PFLAG Cleveland: We, the parents, families and friends of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, celebrate diversity and envision a society that embraces everyone, including those of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. Only with respect, dignity and equality for all will we reach our full potential as human beings, individually and collectively. (AmazonSmile)
Team CLE: Endows and confers scholarships upon LGBT student-athletes, supports a network of sporting outlets for the LGBT community of the Greater Cleveland/Akron area, and promotes participation in local, regional, national and international amateur sports competitions. (AmazonSmile)
Rock N Roll City Sisters: Working for the elimination of hate, stigma, prejudice, ridicule and discrimination through outreach, education, awareness and direct action. (AmazonSmile)
Arts & College Preparatory Academy: LGBT-inclusive charter high school. We have a climate and culture that is based on a trailblazing arts and college prep curriculum in an environment that is safe, inclusive and progressive. (AmazonSmile and Kroger Community Rewards)
Capital Pride Band: Creates quality musical and social experiences for our members and community through a variety of performances. We provide an open, inclusive and fun atmosphere while promoting the joy of music, friendship and personal growth. (AmazonSmile and Kroger Community Rewards)
Columbus Ohio Gay Lesbian Ally Hockey Association: An organization representing GLBT/friendly hockey teams, fans and players in the Central Ohio and Columbus area. Hate has no place on the ice. (AmazonSmile)
Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus: Fosters increased recognition, understanding and acceptance of gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender persons. The Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus is a non-auditioned chorus open to all people regardless of vocal talent, musical abilities, race, gender, religion, age, physical abilities, sexual orientation or economic means. (AmazonSmile and Kroger Community Rewards)
Evolution Theatre: Provides a supportive, encouraging environment for celebrating the artistic vision of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and ally individuals; advancing the understanding of gender issues; and fostering the expression of creative performance arts by and about the LGBTQQIA community. (AmazonSmile and Kroger Community Rewards)
Kaleidoscope Youth Center: Works in partnership with young people in Central Ohio to create safe and empowering environments for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and ally youth through advocacy, education, support and community engagement. (AmazonSmile and Kroger Community Rewards)
PFLAG Columbus: Envisions a world where diversity is celebrated and ALL are affirmed. We support, educate and advocate in Columbus for LGBTQ persons and their families through two monthly meetings. (AmazonSmile)
Stonewall Columbus: Serves the Central Ohio LGBT community by providing a community center and offering programming and services that enhance the well-being and visibility of our diverse community through discovery, affirmation and celebration. Each program or service presented at the Center on High aligns with at least one of the organization’s core values: health, diversity, faith or art. Stonewall Columbus supports good health in body, mind and spirit. (AmazonSmile)
Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus: We sing to inspire, encourage and sustain excellence in the choral arts and to achieve a gay-affirming presence in the greater Miami Valley. (AmazonSmile and Kroger Community Rewards)
Dayton LGBT Center: The mission of the Greater Dayton LGBT Center is to help create programs that enhance the lives of sexual minorities in Dayton and the Miami Valley. (AmazonSmile)
Have A Gay Day: Designed initially as a happy space on social media, Have a Gay Day became an organization and started growing our reach into real world situations. Our goal is to give back, create a safe place and space and in time take over the world with hope and with a positive impact for a better tomorrow. (AmazonSmile and Kroger Community Rewards)
PFLAG Dayton: Promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, their families and friends through support, education and advocacy. (AmazonSmile)
Rubi Girls: What started in living rooms and attics over 30 years ago has evolved into a FUNdraising phenomenon. Having helped to raise $1 million for HIV/AIDS and LGBT-related charities, the Rubi Girls are just getting started! (AmazonSmile and Kroger Community Rewards)
PFLAG Lima: PFLAG a non-profit organization of volunteers who offer support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals, families and friends in a safe and caring environment. (AmazonSmile)
PFLAG Oxford: Serving the Oxford, Ohio, area through education, support and advocacy for families, allies and people who are LGBTQ. (AmazonSmile and Kroger Community Rewards)
Springfield Pride: A yearly LGBTQ Pride Festival that aims to educate and maintain a sense of pride for the community. (AmazonSmile and Kroger Community Rewards)
Equality Toledo: Works to eliminate discrimination in our region on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression through education, activism and other anti-defamation efforts. (Kroger Community Rewards)
Harvey House: To ensure all youth, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, have a safe environment for socialization, education and resources. (AmazonSmile)
PFLAG Toledo: PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. (AmazonSmile)
Toledo Area LGBT Historical Archives: Collecting and archiving oral history, pictures,
magazines, memorabilia, etc., from the people, places, events, businesses and groups that make up the Toledo Area LGBT community to better educate. (AmazonSmile)
Full Spectrum Community Outreach: Promotes awareness, education, mental and emotional support, as well as advocacy for the LGBTQIA community within Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties. (AmazonSmile)
Mahoning Valley Pride Center (listed as Pride Center of Greater Youngstown): Our mission is to build community with people identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and straight allies through the provision of online and community-based services that connect individuals through common interests. (AmazonSmile)
PFLAG Youngstown: Offers monthly confidential support group meetings for parents and friends of lesbians and gays. (AmazonSmile)