The day after Christmas isn’t a holiday per se, but it’s a day people take notice of, largely because it’s the first chance they’ll get to exchange presents they’ve received or run to stores to purchase the ones they didn’t get. However, people who have received gift cards may not rush out to use them if the cards are from places they rarely frequent.
This year, instead of storing gift cards someplace you’ll never think to find them again, there’s an opportunity for you to help those less fortunate receive the medical care they need. Nonprofit Watsi has formed a partnership with PayGarden that allows the latter to accept gift cards from select major brands and exchange them for a Watsi gift card. You can use the new card to fund a patient’s healthcare and give a little back after all that you have received.
An added bonus: Watsi and PayGarden will not deduct any administrative fees from the exchange, so if you have a $100 gift card, you’ll get a Watsi card for $100, and the full amount will go to the care of patients worldwide.
Not every gift card can be traded in, but PayGarden accepts the cards that account for the majority of gift card volume sold every year. These include Abercrombie & Fitch, Amazon, Apple Store (not iTunes), Baby Gap, Banana Republic, Bass Pro Shops, Bath & Body Works, Best Buy, California Pizza Kitchen, Coach, Cole Haan, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Express, FYE, Fandango, Hewlett Packard, JCPenney, Lululemon Athletica, Starbucks, Target, Walmart, Williams-Sonoma, and other select brand gift cards. If you have one of these, you can visit the PayGarden website, enter the card number and PIN to check the balance, and complete the transaction.
This only works with North American gift cards, so if your is from an international retailer, you’re unfortunately out of luck, although you can still use Watsi to fund healthcare for those in need.
Watsi’s mission is to fund medical treatment for 1 million patients by 2020, and one of the ways it’s accelerating this process is through partnerships. The tie-up with PayGarden comes more than a month after the Y Combinator-backed nonprofit worked with pharmaceutical delivery service ScriptDash for Giving Tuesday. So far, more than 10,000 patients have benefited through Watsi’s service.
Gift cards are great presents, but sometimes they don’t quite hit the mark. So instead of tossing them aside, if you’re interested in doing some good this holiday season, and if being more charitable is a one of your New Year’s resolutions, Watsi may be a good place to start.
You can start exchanging gift cards today. There’s no listed end date, but Watsi informed VentureBeat that the exchange will extend at least through the end of January.