End of Amazon Smile has some organizations frowning

FILE - A view of the Amazon logo is displayed in Douai, northern France, April 16, 2020....
FILE - A view of the Amazon logo is displayed in Douai, northern France, April 16, 2020. Italy’s anti-trust authority on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021 fined Amazon 1.13 billion euros, accusing it of exploiting its dominant position against third-party sellers on its site in such areas as logistics and product promotion in violation of EU competition rules. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, File)(AP)
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 7:05 PM EST
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The announcement this week by Amazon that it was ending its charitable Amazon Smile program has some nonprofits in Palm Beach County disappointed.

Lauree Simmons at the Big Dog Ranch in Loxahatchee Groves just received a $9,600 check from the program.

She called news of the announcement a "huge surprise."

Amazon said it is ending the program on Feb. 20 because with more than a million organizations registered their "ability to have an impact was often spread too thin," according to a letter sent to customers.

Amazon Smile started in 2013 and allowed customers to designate a small percentage of their purchases to any charity they chose.

Simmons said she had a long list of people both inside and outside her organization who directed money to the Big Dog Ranch.

"It's a difference because a lot of charities count on this money like us," Simmons said.

For some nonprofits that meant donations in the thousands, and for many, it may have been as little as a few hundred dollars a year.

The American Association of Caregiving Youth (AACY) in Boca Raton is one of those smaller organizations that received a modest sum from the program.

"While the amount in terms of our budget may not be huge that we get from the Smile, every bit helps," Connie Siskowski with AACY said.

Amazon said it will still support charities and communities and will still offer "wish lists" on its website for charities.

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