There’s so much happening all at once that I go to bed physically exhausted and mentally drained every night. But in a good way!Books are definitely pouring in, especially through the mail. People outside of Athens are rallying to get us through this last stretch and it boggles my mind. Our BookMooch points ran low and within 24 hours of asking for help, points started appearing, like magic, in our account. It’s just… humbling.I will get caught up; I will sit down and tell you all about it. Later. But I wanted you to know that 6,000 books in 2 months is starting to seem like an achievable goal. I hope to update our inventory count this weekend, and I’m working on evaluating the count we need by grade too. I appreciate your patience, and assure you it’s a Very Good Thing that I don’t have time to write a proper post!Thank you for sending in your books and for spreading the word.
Wow. I’m flipping through my notebook and that’s the word that comes to mind as I review the past couple weeks: WOW.I’m just going to jump right in.The customers of City Salon & Spa continue to donate books, thanks in large part to Shayne McBride’s never-ceasing effort to spread the word. Thank you all!The Books for Keeps “Out of State Angels” are out in full force. I have to tell you, I get such a boost from these women. I feel like they’re right here with me sorting books. So thank you, yet again, to Katherine in Kerrville TX; Heather in Yuma AZ; Donna in Mississauga Canada; Michelle in Kingston Canada; Jan in Davis CA; Peta in the UK; Carrie in New Ulm MN; Meg in CA; Sandra in Ontario Canada; Mary in Reidsville… all are sending books, donating funds, donating points, and/or proactively scouring thrift stores to find books on our wish lists. I hope I didn’t forget anyone… you ladies have a special place in my heart. BookMoochers continue to keep us flush with points, and as always their generosity is humbling. They give Books for Keeps a truly international base of supporters. Breaker and “annlchasek” in NY, Raoul in Canada, R&D in NE, Kath in OH, Emily and Kathleen in MN, Abigail in WI, Frank in MI, Robin in GA, Elizabeth in TX, Tania in France, Elizabeth in SC, Susan in CO, Renee in PA, Jeremy in CT, Sugar Creek Ranch in OR, and Laura in CA – thank you for the points! You’re helping us more than you can imagine.And speaking of BookMoochers: where would we be without Kay in Greenville SC? [...]
Our May deadline for distributing books draws closer and closer, and it’s an emotional roller-coaster around here. Good News/Bad News #1:The good news – I have cleared the backlog of books awaiting inspection in the sort room. What a relief! Every book has been logged and sorted into “Use” vs. “Can’t Use”. All that’s left is to sort by age and box for storage.The bad news – Donations have slowed down enough to allow me to catch up, and this really scares me. I’d rather be perpetually behind due to an overwhelming number of donations, wouldn’t you?Good News/Bad News #2: The good news – the school district has chosen 3 schools to receive our books this May. I can’t tell you the names until I meet with them. But it’s exciting to know where the books will be going.The bad news – we don’t have enough books for the 3rd school. I wish I could shrug it off and say “well, we’ve accomplished a lot… maybe next year” but I simply can’t do that. We need approximately 6,000 more books in the next 2 months.Last May, I put out a call for help requesting 800 books in 12 days. You responded by drowning me in books; something like 1700 books in 12 days. Can we pull off another miracle? Can we collect 6,000 usable children’s books in 2 months? I really don’t know. We’ve collected 12,000 books in 7 months, so this will certainly qualify as a miracle.Please think hard about how you can help, even if you live outside Athens. A few ideas:- Consider Media Mail: You can mail a 10 [...]
Books for Keeps has been given $500 to spend at the First Book Marketplace. I’m not sure I totally understand how it all happened, but it goes something like this:Walmart donated money to First Book to give grants through a Readers to Leaders program. First Book awarded a grant to Family Connection/Communities in Schools here in Athens. FC/CIS made the grant available to Whatever It Takes. Whatever It Takes made the grant available to Books for Keeps.However it happened, it means more books to help end summer slide. I’ll evaluate our inventory and see where it needs help, then I’ll enlist help from a media specialist to choose the perfect books. Thank you to… well… everybody involved! Tim and Whatever It Takes have been so good to Books for Keeps. They provide our sort room, collect tax-deductible donations on our behalf, and help in so many more ways. I love days like today, when gratitude kicks the clutter out of my brain and helps me realize just how far we’ve come. Pass it on.
I took a break from paperwork and headed out to pick up a nice load of books from a new donor.Country Inn and Suites has a “Read It & Return” program for its guests. There’s a small library of books in many locations, and guests are free to take a book. If they don’t finish it during their stay, they can return it to any other location.The books are replenished from time to time and shelves get too full. The Country Inn and Suites here in Athens donated their excess to Books for Keeps. Some of the books are brand new! Thank you Zach and the Athens Country Inn and Suites.Waiting for me back at home: a shipment of books from Donna in Mississauga Canada. Donna is one of our early BookMooch supporters. Not only is she willing to ship books from Canada, she also gives us a spectacular point discount on BookMooch. You’re awesome, Donna!Keep the books coming… tell people about Books for Keeps.
Our incorporation, and future (fingers crossed!) 501(c)(3) certification bring with them some of the most head-spinning details and requirements. Officers, by-laws, tax forms, fine print… the dotting of many “I”s and the crossing of many “T”s. And it all must be done exactly right, just so. I’ve been at it for three hours. My mind is boggled. My eyes are crossing. And the magnitude of what I’m undertaking is starting to sink in. Incorporating is easy! Proving to the IRS that you are a legitimate charity is most definitely not.Oh, how I wish I could zip over to the sort room and spend the day sorting books!Chris and Dana in Dacula, GA held a neighborhood book drive last May during the “800 books in 12 days” campaign. I’m thrilled to have received more books yesterday. Thank you, Chris and Dana, for continuing to support Books for Keeps!Thanks also to Carol and Jane here in Athens, for delivering a large number of books to the sort room while I was out of town. I haven’t gone through them yet, but I saw some great titles. Thank you!I also heard yesterday about another donation of books from JoBeth and Jennifer at UGA. I can’t wait to see the books; the last batch were new books in pristine condition and they were so fun to sort. Thank you JoBeth and Jennifer! And thank you Cathy, for making all the arrangements and picking up the books. Finally, thank you to the anonymous donor(s) who left many boxes of books in our lobby while I was out of town. It’s a great feeling to arrive at [...]