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United Way of South Hampton Roads Teams with Hampton Roads Social to Launch Shop from Your Heart New Online Shopping Portal to Boost Donations

Norfolk, VA – (Nov. 9 2012) – Just in time for holiday shopping, the United Way of South Hampton Roads has launched a new online shopping site that the organization hopes will boost contributions.

The site, Shop from Your Heart, is the result of a partnership between HamptonRoadsSocial.com, a local social media start-up that promotes local charitable events via social media networks, and the United Way SHR. Shop from Your Heart is powered by Give as you Get, an Austin, Texas-based company that runs an affiliate online “charity mall,” where a percentage of sales go back to a local charity at no cost to the shopper.

Once they bookmark the site, online shoppers can choose from over 50 major retail stores including online shopping giants Amazon, iTunes, and Overstock.com. When customers make a purchase through Shop from Your Heart, a percentage of their transaction, depending on the retailer, will go to the United Way SHR.

Patricia Bartosch, Founder of HamptonRoadsSocial.com, presented the charity mall idea to the United Way SHR after learning about the success of Give as you Get’s “localized” concept.

“United Way liked the concept—and we believe holiday shoppers will too,” said Bartosch. “If you’re planning to shop online anyway, you can still shop, purchase the items you want for the same price and have a portion of those dollars come back to the Hampton Roads community through United Way.”
It does not cost the supporter anything to use Shop from Your Heart, and it doesn’t cost the United Way SHR to participate in the program.

United Way SHR sees the weeks leading up to the holiday season as the perfect time to launch Shop from Your Heart.

According to a recent report from the online shopping analyst eMarketer, retail e-commerce will hit $54.5 billion in 2012, a rise of nearly 17% over last year.

“Getting some of those dollars that people are already spending would be like found money,” said Pam Smith-Rodden, Vice President of Marketing for United Way of SHR. “Many of our supporters will be pleased to discover they can increase their donation, at no cost to them, simply by shopping through the Shop from Your Heart portal. And all of the money stays right here in South Hampton Roads.”
United Way SHR and HamptonRoadsSocial.com plan to stoke excitement for the shopping site through an aggressive social media campaign and some paid advertising. The site was launched this week. Visit unitedwayshr.org/shop.

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United Way of South Hampton Roads provides leadership that brings resources together to reduce poverty, increase educational attainment and minimize health disparities for our most vulnerable neighbors.

Hampton Roads Social was founded in 2011 by Patricia Bartosch. Hampton Roads Social exists to promote, cover, and celebrate charitable giving in Hampton Roads.


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