New web service handles the guesswork of donating


Hurricane Sandy’s recent devastation of the East Coast has made it painfully clear how important local food drives are in a time of crisis. For some of us, the desire to give is often outweighed by a lack of information about where and when the items should be dropped off, as well as which charities currently need the most help.

A recent startup called YouGiveGoods plans to solve that confusion and increase donations as a result. Thanksgiving is always a time where food banks have difficulty collecting enough donations to meet the needs so the timing is perfect. There are also thousands of people still left homeless after Hurricane Sandy, easy to forget now that news coverage has slowed to a trickle.

YouGiveGoods has a dedicated page for Hurricane Sandy if you want your donations to help specifically with that disaster. There is also an option to filter food banks by location so you know you’re helping the community around you. Regardless, clicking on any organization will open some helpful information like who the organizers are and what is needed most. If you are happy with the organization it’s then very easy to transition straight into donating.

From the site, you can purchase various non-perishable food items (soups, boxed pastas, canned vegetables, etc.). Depending on the organization, there may also be the option to provide clothing or household items. Once you’ve chosen which items you’d like to donate, it’s simple to input the amount of each you’d like to buy, enter payment information, and complete the purchase.

The potential benefits of YouGiveGoods are numerous, but the two most important benefits are the attention given to struggling organizations and the streamlined donation system. Convenience is paramount in today’s multi-tasking society and YouGiveGoods makes helping out as quick and easy possible — almost automated in its simplicity. Providing information on each organization helps users make an informed decision and being able to choose organizations based on location ensures users know exactly where their aid is being implemented. The organizations also enjoy increased exposure to the public and, with any luck, a spike in donations around the holidays and all throughout the year.

If you want to get involved in your community or anywhere really, visit YouGiveGoods to get started.

Have any of you used YouGiveGoods yet? Do you appreciate the ability to donate goods without having to leave the house and find a drop-off location?

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