Website let's shop, dine, and donate

Updated: Oct. 8, 2014 at 5:00 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you wish you could donate more money to a cause of your choice, there's a new website that will let you without spending an extra dime. is a new online platform where you can patronize your favorite local restaurants and businesses and half of what you spend will go to a charity that you select.

Here's how it works. You get to go out to dinner, or shop with a local business for the same amount of money you'd spend anyway. But operators say at least half of the money will go to a charity instead.

You go to, buy a voucher for a local business or restaurant, and they say 50% to 70% of what you spend goes to a charity registered on the site that you choose. You can buy vouchers for local restaurants like Mexico Restaurant, Cafe Caturra, or Mezzanine. Or maybe you want to go to Funny Bone comedy club or get a massage at Hand and Stone.

Explained Rob Courain, President of Live to Serve, "You not only get the full value of purchasing something, but 50% is going to a local non-profit. So it makes your money worth more."

You choose to fund one of the local charity causes on the site, such as the Giving Heart's community Thanksgiving dinner or microchipping animals at the Richmond SPCA. The United Way is joining now.

Said Heather Turbine-Pollard with the United Way, "We're going to put up on the Live to Serve platform a very specific effort around getting books and purchasing books and little libraries in low income communities."

And Live to Serve invites more merchants and charities to get involved.

"We want to let the 6000 non-profits in the community, schools, PTA's, churches, benevolent associations, all know that this resource is available to them," said Courain.

Live to Serve just started in August. So far, one of the participating charities, the Youth Life Foundation of Richmond, has raised $1000 for a neighborhood learning center.