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This Valentine’s Day, Nonprofit Makes Last-Minute Gifting Easy and Meaningful with Online Charitable Shopping Options


Valentine’s shoppers can easily gift popular items from Amazon and more than 1,300 stores online while helping the children of rural Guatemala receive an education.

Spokane, WA -- February 4, 2011 -- With February 14 just around the corner, many are faced with the daunting task of choosing a memorable Valentine’s gift for the special person in their life. The pressure to choose a truly meaningful gift is on, and the hard economic times make it even more difficult to shop. Roots & Wings International (RWI) (, a nonprofit focused on providing elementary through university education in the impoverished, coffee-growing communities of rural Guatemala, offers lovers the opportunity to go beyond flowers and candy and impress their loved ones by making a difference.

By using a free, easy-to-use browser toolbar created by (, each time a person browses or shops online at more than 1,300 stores (from Amazon to Zazzle!) a percentage of the purchase is automatically donated to the children of Roots & Wings International. Shoppers can also save money with the special coupons and deals available through the toolbar. The toolbar is easy to download, free to use and any donation helps provide educational resources and university scholarships to youth in need from the indigenous Guatemalan families who live on less than $2 per day.

"To date, we have provided over 30 university scholarships thanks to individual and corporate donations. The poverty in Guatemala is one of the highest in Central America, and children in its remote, isolated rural communities comprise the majority of the country’s poor population. Our goal is to provide educational opportunities to the children in these indigenous Mayan communities because we believe that economic development begins within. We want to empower the local youth in need so they can in turn serve and improve their community,” notes Erik Swanson, President and Founder of RWI.

“Each year we receive up to 100 applications for our scholarship program, but are only able to help a few students because of limited funding. Our goal is to provide scholarships for degrees in engineering, medicine, computer science, accounting, law and the sciences to grow the skill sets key to local development. Anyone can help, and a little bit goes a long way to help create doctors, engineers and other skilled professionals from the disadvantaged areas of rural Guatemala.”

RWI has several donation programs including contributing monthly, making a one-time donation, naming a scholarship, corporate gift matching, buying coffee, shopping at Amazon for the cause, volunteering with skills and time and starting a fundraiser. To learn more or to help the cause, visit ( To take advantage of shopping with the toolbar, visit (

About Roots & Wings International (RWI)

RWI was created in 2004 by Erik Swanson, a business attorney at Bullivant Houser Bailey PC, then the director of a high school in rural Guatemala. Thanks to the support of individuals and corporate sponsors, RWI has been able to develop three different programs – University Scholarships, Computer Literacy and After-School Tutoring – to help the students from rural Guatemala work towards the development of their native communities. To help the cause or to learn more, become a Facebook fan ( or sign up for RWI’s newsletter (



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