Shopping with a Purpose

Year-end gift through ‘AmazonSmiles’ boosts Yukon helping ministry

Office assistant Colleen Green stands with just some of the many boxes of personal hygiene items delivered just before New Year’s Eve to Compassionate Hands in Yukon. The items were donated through the AmazonSmile program. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar

Associate Editor

A Yukon helping ministry got a much-welcomed year-end surprise thanks to the charitable giving of a special group of online shoppers.

Customers have shopped with a purpose to support Compassionate Hands’ non-profit helping agency. So much so that it took nearly three mail trucks to deliver boxes of donations collected for Compassionate Hands through the Amazon Smiles program.

“I think they fulfilled our entire charity list,” Compassionate Hands Director Joanne Riley said. “The value is well over $1,000. It’s personal hygiene items like toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, and body wash; and diapers and wipes.

“What a great way to start off 2020. This is a sign of great things to come this next year!”

Amazon notified Compassionate Hands in an early December letter that they would be fulfilling items on AmazonSmile charity lists for hundreds of charities in communities across the country.

The Yukon Post Office surprises the Compassionate Hands’ helping ministry with a huge year-end donation collected through the AmazonSmile charity giving program. (Photo provided)

“We’re very happy to let you know that Compassionate Hands Inc. was one of the organizations selected to receive product donations from Amazon,” according to the notification. “Your Charity List items will be fulfilled within the next few weeks.”

After receiving the letter, Riley thought to herself, “how nice, we will probably get a few things.”

Little did she know how much had been collected through Amazon’s charity giving effort.

“We can help so many with personal hygiene items,” Riley said. “We now have the always-needed larger size diapers and wipes.”

The day of the delivery, Riley apparently thought famous boxer Muhammed Ali had provided the bounty of boxed donations.

“Thank you, Amazon … you are the greatest!” she said.

A ministry of the Yukon Ministerial Alliance since 1994, Compassionate Hands helps more than 800 individuals annually pay their rent and utilities, prescriptions, and personal and baby needs.

The Compassionate Hands’ Care-a-Van travels about 30,000 miles annually taking senior citizens and people with disabilities to medical appointments, therapy, the grocery store, and personal errands.


About six months ago, Riley requested products on Compassionate Hands’ AmazonSmile Charity List.

“I established the list hoping to get a few items from our donors if they use AmazonSmile,” she said.

Overwhelmed by the response, Compassionate Hands’ director said the huge gift will be put to good use.

Compassionate Hands Director Joanne Riley

“These are non-food items,” Riley said. “They’re items the we all use every single day of our lives, and we take it for granted because we just go to a store and buy them.

“This will help people who find themselves in temporary crisis – due to various reasons like illness or job loss – who are not about to buy the basic life necessities.”

Amazon customers can donate to an organization of their choice or shop with AmazonSmile to support their favorite charity.

“This is a season of giving, and we are thrilled to deliver smiles and surprise hundreds of charities with the products they are in most need of right now,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO of Worldwide Consumer – Amazon. “AmazonSmile and Charity Lists are two amazing programs that help inspire customers to shop with a purpose.”

Compassionate Hands looks forward to serving Yukon as it begins its 26th year helping people in temporary crisis.

“We appreciate the incredible response we have had from our year-end letter,” director Riley said. “All of our donations stay right here in Yukon to help our Yukon neighbors who are in need and to help our seniors and people with disabilities who need transportation.”

Learn more by calling 354-9591 or visiting