Lexus is known for putting big red bows on its vehicles during the holiday season. But this year, during its "December to Remember" year-end sales event, Toyota's luxury marque is also giving to charity -- and you can help out, even if you're not in the market for a Lexus.
The way it works is simple. Start by visiting Lexus' "Check In for Charity" Facebook page and click "Get Started". Give the Facebook app approval to link to your profile (and if you're big on privacy, limit who can see that app's activity). On the next page, you can link Lexus' app to your Foursquare account, or you can skip that step if you like.
Then, all you have to do is check in as usual at shops, restaurants, movie theaters, and so on. Every time you do, Lexus will give $10 to Boys & Girls Clubs of America, up to a total donation of $100,000. (Added bonus: check in at a Lexus dealership, and the company will double the value of your donations for the day.) That cash will help BGCA's 4,000 locations throughout the U.S. provide mentoring and other important programs to 4,000,000 young people.
As you might expect from a social media campaign like this, the "Check In for Charity" app includes a leaderboard, which highlights the folks with the most check-ins. You can compare your own giving with that of your Facebook friends and even use the relevant map to find fellow participants/competitors in your neck of the woods.
The "Check In for Charity" fundraiser is live now and ends January 2, or whenever the $100,000 goal is reached. (That could come soon, since as of this morning, the total of all contributions is just over $34,000.) Afterward, you can visit Account Settings > Apps on your Facebook page and unlink the "Check In for Charity" app -- or keep it around, if you like. A little charity never hurts.