Three local nonprofits Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault (SACASA), the Tucson Audubon Society and Friends of PACCare partnering with Buffalo Exchange for the store’s charitable-giving program, now through December.

Called ‘Tokens for Bags,’ the program raises money for various causes while reducing the number of single-use shopping bags in circulation. How does it work? Shoppers at Buffalo Exchange receive a five-cent token in place of a shopping bag. Five centsthe rough equivalent of a bag’s costthen goes to the charity of the shopper’s choice.

It’s a familiar practice that both raises money for charity and helps promote sustainable habits. Shoppers at Summit Hut can also see a similar decline-a-bag program in place.

SACASA director Katlyn Monje says by participating in the program, the center can enhance services like advocacy, medical forensic evaluation and recovery services. And as an added benefit, it promotes awareness toward organizations’ missions.

“What this allows us to do is have people who are walking in, it allows them to start thinking about a really important topic can start a discussion that’s really important. But also it can connect someone who might be a shopper who has experienced sexual violence in their lifetime,” SACASA director Katlyn Monje told KGUN 9. “It allows them to connect with a service that they may otherwise not have known about.”

Buffalo Exchange, which has been headquartered in Tucson since it was founded in 1974, says it has generated more than $926,000 for various nonprofits since Tokens for Bags began nearly 30 years ago.

Buffalo Exchange chooses a new collection of charitable organizations around the country for the Tokens for Bags program every six months. Find a full nationwide list of participating nonprofits at their program website.

Friends of PACC, another Tokens for Bags charity, was awarded a $30,000 grant from Buffalo Exchange and the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona back in June for its newest giving-back campaign, the Buffalo Fund for the Animals. Vice President Rebecca Block says she and company founder Kerstin Block are happy to support animal-focused causes:

Weve always had a soft spot for animals and were especially fond of our four-legged friends. Were both the proud parents of rescue pups. They cant help themselves, so we feel its our responsibility to do so, says Rebecca Block. Were excited that Friends of PACC received the first grant from Buffalo Fund for the Animals because they do really important work to help animals in need here in Tucson.