3 Ways to Make Your Shopping Matter

It’s October, and that means the holidays and shopping madness are around the corner.

Instead of waiting around for Black Friday bargains, you can get a jump-start on your purchasing and feel good about where you’re spending your money while staying in the neighborhood or just sitting at your computer.

1. Shop Your Cause

Care to indulge in hors d’oeuvres, shopping and some outstanding nonprofits? If so, head over to opening night for Shop Your Cause at The Lake Forest Shop Wednesday, Oct. 8 at 5:30 p.m. Presented by the Lake Forest Shop and their media sponsor, Make It Better, the event kicks off an entire weekend of shopping that will benefit nine local nonprofits.

Ten percent of each purchase made throughout the weekend will be donated to one of the following: Bernie’s Book Bank, Citadel Theatre, Deer Path Art League, EcoMyths Alliance, Lake County Community Foundation, Lake Forest Open Lands, Lake Forest Preservation Foundation, Lake Forest Symphony and Ragdale. The customer will be able to choose which of the nine organizations she would like her purchase to benefit. Female honorees selected from each of the listed organizations will be celebrated Wednesday night for their commitment to furthering the work of their nonprofits. Personal stylists from Magaschoni and Spanx will be available throughout the weekend to assist customers in selecting a Magaschoni scarf or some of the newest active-wear from Spanx. For more information, contact Ellen Stirling at [email protected] or call 847-234-0548.

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2. Celebrate 74 Years of “Thrifting”

Looking to save on designer clothes? Support the Junior League of Evanston-North Shore and visit their thrift shop, which specializes in women’s clothing, shoes and accessories. Located at 920 Chicago Ave., Evanston, Thrift House offers bargain prices on a range of designer goods from Cole Haan to Stuart Weitzman. The shop also sells a variety of wardrobe basics including sweaters, coats and scarves.

Thrift House was founded in 1940 to serve the community and it remains the Junior League’s longest-standing fundraising project. Out of the Thrift House, the Junior League runs their Fitting Futures program. This program was started in 2009 to assist women seeking employment by providing them with professional clothing and accessories for job interviews. Jeanie Kennedy, Thrift House co-chair, says that more than 50 percent of the women they have fitted this year obtained jobs within several months of their fitting. The shop also offers clothing vouchers to its partnering organizations, Mary Lou’s Place and the Youth Job Center of Evanston.

The Thrift House is always looking for quality, gently used clothing, furniture and housewares, and all donations are tax-deductible. For more information, please email [email protected] or call (847) 328-5778.

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3. Sign in to AmazonSmile

Planning to do some of your holiday shopping online? Make sure to type smile.amazon.com into your computer, tablet or phone before you start filling up that cyber shopping cart. The Fortune 500 company, Amazon, Inc., launched the program AmazonSmile last October to allow customers to support their favorite charities every time they shop. Once customers sign in to AmazonSmile, they can choose from more than one million eligible charitable organizations to which the Amazon Smile Foundation will donate. The one million choices include some of our local nonprofits such as Northwestern University Settlement House, Paws Chicago and KIPP Chicago Schools. There is no cap on customers’ total donation amounts and customers can change which charity they wish to support at any time.