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Library teams up with AmazonSmile

For most people, shopping on Amazon is the easiest, and sometimes cheapest, way to get the things they want, be it books, movies or anything else they could think of.

However, not only is Amazon a convenient way to shop, it is also an easy way to help raise money for local organizations such as the Friends of the Friday Memorial Library. Starting this summer, Friends of the Friday Memorial Library is now one of thousands of organizations and charities shoppers can select to have Amazon give money to.

“I’ve noticed that when you go to checkout on Amazon it will ask you if you want to contribute to a charity,” said Jerry Pults, a member of the board of directors for the Friends of the Library. “They will give you the top five or 10, but there are hundreds and thousands of options that you can look at with the drop down menu. I talked to Kimberly (Hennings) at the library and I mentioned that we are not on that list, so she told me to contact Paula (Meisner) and she helped me set it up so that we are an authorized charity that Amazon can contribute to.”

Now that the Friends have been added to the Amazon list of charities, all an interested shopper would have to do is search for the Friends of the Friday Memorial Library on the AmazonSmile site and select it as his or her charity of choice.

“This is a good way for the community to get something for free from Amazon,” Pults said. “It is really ridiculously easy to do.”

Other charities from the New Richmond area that appear as options on AmazonSmile include the New Richmond Area Centre, the New Richmond Area Community Foundation, the New Richmond Hockey Association and many others. The library will receive the donations from AmazonSmile quarterly.

“I want to stress the fact that all the money comes from Amazon and it won’t cost people a penny,” Pults said. “It is nice when you can get a large international company to give you money for free.”

Currently, the Friends of the Library has fewer than 100 members who are part of the group, which is one of Pults and the board of directors’ reasons for making a membership push later this year. According to Pults, the organization’s current number of members hasn’t fluctuated too much in recent years, but the group would love to add as many new members as it can.

“I’m hopeful that if we can get people in the community using the program it will be a very easy way for the Friends of the Library to donate money to the library,” Pults said. “We’ve been kind of a quiet group that just has two book sales a year. That is going to change as we draw in more active, vibrant people of the community who really want to do something besides a book sale. We can do so much more for the library.”

Currently, the money the Friends raise for the library goes to many different projects and programs at the Friday Memorial Library, such as buying new equipment, the reading programs and the children’s programs. However, with the possibility for a new library to be built in the next few years, Pults believes the Friends could do a lot to help the library raise money for its new space.

“Right now, I think it is true to say that we are going to be trying to focus the money we raise toward the building of the new library,” Pults said. “We would like to make a significant contribution to the library in some way, shape or form. We give a lot of money to the library already, but most of the community isn’t aware of what we are funding or that we are giving money on a regular basis.”

According to Pults, membership forms to join the Friends can be found at the front desk at the Friday Memorial Library.

“There are no commitments that people are making when they join the group,” Pults said. “You can be as active as you would like to be. There are several membership levels, so you can give a modest amount if you would like.”

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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