What if even a fraction of the billions of dollars generated by search engine advertisers and online shopping was directed towards combating childhood poverty right here in our region?

Madison County-based Riverbend Head Start & Family Services has teamed up with GoodSearch.com and GoodShop.com to do just that and help the organization in funding the many important programs they have underway to help children and families.

With GoodShop.com, consumers are helping their favorite causes by shopping at more than 1,600 well known retailers including Amazon, Target, Apple, Macy’s, Best Buy, Orbitz, Staples and others. The shopping experience and the prices are exactly the same as going to the retailer directly, but by going through GoodShop, up to 30% of the purchase price is donated to the user’s favorite cause.

In addition, for every search conducted on the Yahoo and Bing-powered GoodSearch.com search engine, approximately one penny is donated to the user’s favorite charity. Use it exactly like any other search engine, but with GoodSearch, the pennies add up quickly. Just 500 people searching four times a day will earn approximately $7,300 a year! And, it doesn’t cost the users a thing. It’s a form of philanthropy that works for everyone in this tough economy.

“This Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year and Cyber Monday is just around the corner. We are urging area residents to use GoodSearch.com and GoodShop.com this holiday season and beyond and consider designating Riverbend Head Start & Family Services as their charity of choice,” said Debby Edelman, PR Director of Riverbend Head Start & Family Services.

Riverbend Head Start & Family Services has been a registered non-profit on GoodSearch.com since June 2008 and since has been the recipient of 22,156 searches resulting in nearly $300 from users who see the value in the agency and its services.

“We would like to see a tremendous increase in the number of users who designate our Agency when searching or shopping using GoodSearch.com,” added Edelman. “Our agency works daily to combat childhood poverty through Head Start & Early Head Start programs so our services are invaluable in the community. We encourage local residents to consider using GoodSearch.com this holiday season and beyond and to please designate our Agency as the benefiting organization.”

If you would like your searches and online purchases to make a difference right here in Madison County, please visit GoodSearch.com or GoodShop.com and select Riverbend head Start & Family Services as your designated charity.

“We know there are a lot of people who want to do good but may not have the time or the money to help out.” said Ken Ramberg, Co-Founder of GoodSearch and former President of JOBTRAK, the largest online career site for college students (now a division of Monster.com). “GoodSearch and GoodShop make it as easy as possible. We’ve taken something people do every day -- searching the Internet and shopping online -- and have turned it into doing good."

Since 1916 RHSFS has provided unduplicated child development services to families in Madison County. Through its Head Start and Early Head Start programs the agency enables children and families to develop positive skills to meet life’s challenges by promoting education.

For the young child Riverbend Head Start & Family Services offer early childhood education, as well as health and nutrition services. For families and individuals they offer mental health counseling, social services, family literacy and various individual strengthening and family support services. For more information about Riverbend Head Start & Family Services and its program, please visit www.riverbendfamilies.org or call (618) 463-5946.

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