Thursday Mar 05 2009
Lincoln High School fndraising goes high-tech
By: Brandon Darnell, News Messenger Reporter
You can now help support Lincoln High School when you shop online for items you probably already buy, according to Kris Wyatt, a school counselor. With more than 300 retailers featured on its Web site, www.shoptoearn.net/lhszebras has a wide variety of goods for sale, and each company donates a portion of the purchase to the high school, Wyatt said. “I think it’s actually a really good idea,” said Lincoln High School student Jerusha Loya, who also serves as the student adviser to the Western Placer Unified School District board. “So many people are shopping online and it’s good that we can still get money in this economy.” Loya added that even the smallest purchases help, as it all adds up. The amount donated to the school varies by retailer but the percentages are listed in a drop-down menu on the Web site next to the retailer’s name, Wyatt said. Retailers include clothing companies such as Macy’s Alloy and Aeropostale, home- improvement chains such as Lowe’s and The Home Depot, sporting goods stores such as R.E.I. and The Sports Authority. “It’s something you want now,” Wyatt said, “and you’re not feeling obliged to buy little cousin Susie’s cookie dough.” Since the fundraising program doesn’t require the school to stock boxes of perishable items, Wyatt said, there is no chance for the school to lose money and it also doesn’t have to invest in hefty overhead costs associated with fundraising programs such as candy sales. The money goes directly to the student body, according to Wyatt. If buyers want to ensure their money goes to a specific program, they can bring the receipt by the high school and use the transaction number to designate the program of their choice, such as sports, leadership or other student activities. None of the money, Wyatt said, goes to salaries. “It’s a relatively new program,” said Kevin Schulze, a Roseville business owner who told Wyatt about Shop to Earn. Schulze said it started in January, 2008 with about 1,000 members and now has more than 100,000. The membership is composed of schools, churches, businesses and even individuals, Schulze said. “Anything that’s growing in this economy is a good thing,” Schulze said. Schulze has his own site through his business and said it works because shoppers aren’t asked to do something outside their normal activities, such as wash cars or go to auctions, where they might feel obligated to buy items they don’t need. “It’s very easy to do,” Schulze said, adding that new businesses are always being added to the list. The actual sales and transactions are done on the businesses’ Web sites, Wyatt said, adding that some businesses make their online purchases available for pickup in local stores to forego shipping charges. Some of the retailers names appear in green on the Web site and they are part of Shop to Earth, a partner Web site focused on environmentally sound products and materials. “I’ve switched all my home products to be environmentally friendly,” Schulze said. “Without this program, I personally wouldn’t be doing it.” Brandon Darnell can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.