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'F' as in Frank

'Good' Friday

In retail circles today is Black Friday, a day to get back in the black - break even or earn a profit - with Christmas gift ideas to lure customers.

This year I'm aiming to turn Black Friday - and for that matter any day involving Christmas shopping - into Good Friday.

No, I'm not already thinking about Easter, but about a website, goodshop.com, and its cousin goodsearch.com that donates funds to non-profit charities.

For example, our small church, Grandview Christian Church, is one of the more than 90,000 non-profits on GoodShop.com and GoodSearch.com.

Whenever the church is designated in the "who do you shop for" or "who do you search for" window then it receives one cent per search and a percentage of purchases made online. All kinds of businesses are at goodshop.com, ranging from hotels to retail chains.

Most of the time about 2 percent of the purchase price on any item will be given to the designated charity.

Our church just finished its first year in the program - which runs from October through September - and we recently received a check for almost $70 at no cost to anyone.

For us, the check is a nice bonus at the end of the year to help our family and children's ministry programs. We're hoping for more next year.

That amount, though, just represents a few people periodically doing searches or shopping via the "good" sites.

It got me to thinking: What if a large group of people not already using goodsearch or goodshop for a non-profit banded together to do all of their searches and on-line shopping for one cause?

Imagine the funds a few hundred newcomers to goodsearch/goodshop could generate by designating the Sunnyside Community Center as their non-profit.

According to statistics at goodsearch.com, 200 people seriously committed - at least two searches a day and $500 each annually in on-line shopping - to an effort on behalf of the community center could generate almost $4,500 each year.

That would pay a few bills and help keep the community center open for at least a few months each year.

But imagine if it was 1,000 people committed to one non-profit, then you could be talking more than $22,000 each year!

In the case of the community center, or any non-profit, that first requires getting signed up on goodsearch.com. That would then be followed by the big task of coordinating the hundreds or thousands of people it would take to generate some serious money - for free.

I know, it's a lot to take on.

But if a few folks at Grandview Christian can raise $70 in one year at GoodSearch/GoodShop, just think about the possibilities on a much larger scale.

It's a good idea...on this "good" Friday.

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