Crystal Holcombe, collections specialist, places a peanut on a toy to entice Sheldon Plankton, black tail prairie dog, to use the toy at Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum 2021 N Kinney Rd., on September 11th, 2019. The Desert Museum does various enrichment actives to mentally stimulate the animals such as painting, walking through maze toys, navigating sensory boards, and food puzzles.

From parrot toys to reptile lamps, fans of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum have the opportunity to donate directly to the critters through the museum’s Amazon Wish List.

In recent years, nonprofits — including many in Tucson — have hopped on Amazon to create lists of items they need. Think wedding registries, but for nonprofits.

And the process for the donor is simple: Log into your Amazon account, scroll through the wish list and purchase whatever items you'd like. From there, the items are shipped directly to the organization.

“We started doing it because our philanthropy team saw an opportunity we weren’t utilizing and jumped on it,” the Desert Museum’s marketing manager Kat Rumbley said in an email.

“It has become quite popular industry-wide to create wish lists; so many people use that platform,” she says, adding that wish lists provide people with a “fun way to get involved.”

International Rescue Committee Tucson created their Amazon Wish Lists after seeing the success that other IRC locations had with the platform.

The local branch found that the use of Amazon Wish Lists has helped donors become more connected to those involved in the organization.

Aside from wish lists, when Amazon shoppers use smile.amazon.com, a small portion of the proceeds is donated to a charity of their choice.

Below are 10 local organizations that have Amazon Wish Lists or AmazonSmile Charity Lists set up for the community:

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

The Desert Museum, located on Tucson's west side, is home to near-endless plants and animals, including a mountain lion, javelinas, bobcats and stingrays.

Items on the museum's wish list include aquarium decor, enrichment toys for birds, hand sanitizer, first aid supplies, and electronic items. 

International Rescue Committee Tucson

The International Rescue Committee Tucson offers programs such as education and legal services to refugees, helping them “gain control of their future,” according to the IRC website.

Items on the IRC's wish lists include hygiene products, household items, gardening tools and clothes. 

Stephanie Costanten, left, critical care technician for the Humane Society, scruntches her face as Fiona the dog gives her a kiss on the ear during a check up by Dr. Santana Overton, shelter veterinarian, on Fiona at The Humane Society of Southern Arizona, 635 W. Roger Rd., in Tucson, Ariz. on February 24, 2020. 

Humane Society of Southern Arizona

The Humane Society of Southern Arizona provides veterinary services and helps adopt pets to the community.

Items on the Humane Society's wish list include dog treats, pet toys, medical care products, office supplies and items that help foster families.

Casa de los Niños

Casa de los Niños helps support children and families with intervention, treatment and prevention services.

Items on the organization's wish list include sensory toys, hygiene products, baby items and school supplies.

Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse

Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse creates awareness about the causes of abuse and helps those who are impacted by it. 

Items on Emerge's wish list include clothes and shoes, household essentials, hygiene products and diapers.

John McKoy gets up close with Blue, a resident of the Pima Animal Care Center.

Friends of Pima Animal Care Center

Friends of Pima Animal Care Center helps support the county animal shelter. 

Items on the organization's wish list include pet food, cat carriers, leashes, kennels, toys and medical needs.

HOPE Animal Shelter

HOPE Animal Shelter is a no-kill shelter, searching for homes for homeless pets.

Items on HOPE's wish list include dog toys, cat trees, pet beds and treats.

Staff and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity build homes on land just west of Literary Connects, 132 E. Yavapai Road, on Feb. 9, 2019, in Tucson, Ariz.

Habitat for Humanity Tucson

Habitat for Humanity helps build or renovate homes for families.

Items on Habitat for Humanity's wish list include tools and safety supplies.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson helps guide local youth to a “clear path to reach their full potential and pursue their dreams,” the website says.

Items on the organization's wish list include sporting goods, art supplies, board games and household items.

Aviva Children's Services

Aviva Children's Services provides emergency resources and family support to foster children.

Items on Aviva's wish list include socks and undergarments, cleaning supplies and hygiene products.


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