Books for Keeps blog

CLOSED: BFK is seeking a new program manager

It is with much sadness that we share the news that Program Manager Louis Crow is stepping down from his role at Books for Keeps after this spring. While we – staff, board, and volunteers – are sad to see him go, we are excited for his next opportunity.

Books for Keeps is working now to identify a new program manager who can oversee core functions of the Stop Summer Slide! book give-away program: overseeing inventory management of more than 100,000 books in the Books for Keeps warehouse, working with the Books for Keeps team to identify sources for new and used books, managing volunteer sessions, and coordinating schedules and other details with partner schools.

A complete job description can be found here.

Applications will be reviewed immediately, and will not be accepted any later than March 26th at 5 p.m. Interviews will be conducted between March 28th and April 11th.

The organization is seeking someone who can make a soft start with the organization during spring book distributions. The candidate will train, for pay, with staff and volunteers during at least three sessions (typically between two and four hours each) between April 23rd and May 17th, and to officially begin work full-time in June. Applicants should send cover letter, resume, and three references by email (please note “Program Manager position” in the subject line) to info@booksforkeeps.org.

By |March 8th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on CLOSED: BFK is seeking a new program manager|

It MUST be event season in Athens!

It must be event season here in Athens, because we have SO many great events coming up soon!  Spring is always a busy season for the Books for Keeps team, and 2018 is no exception. We always get so excited when a special event rolls around, but in the wake of the HUGE success of our Bunco for Books event, we can hardly contain our excitement!! Check out some of the incredible events we’re looking forward to:

February 15, 5-7pm – We’re honored to be hosting the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event at our warehouse. We hope to see all current chamber members at the event!
February 20, 5-7pm – Chick-fil-A on Atlanta Highway will be hosting another family-centric, “Breakfast for Dinner” percentage night to benefit Books for Keeps. Some of our key volunteers will be hosting storytime in costume for the event. If you missed the last CFA storytime, be sure you don’t miss this one!
March 2, 8-11pm – It’s Casino Night at the Kappa house! This brand new event from our friends at KKG will be a fun evening of games for Kappas and friends, and all the proceeds will benefit Books for Keeps!
March 7, 7pm – The incredible team at Rabbit Box has invited Books for Keeps to be a part of the magic of storytelling with the March event, titled “A Life Well Read.” Come out to hear some incredible storytellers talk about how a specific book has impacted their lives, MC’d by BFK alum, Rachel Watkins!
March 22, 4:30-9pm –  Southern Brewing Company has been gracious enough to host a percentage night benefiting Books for Keeps. This will be [...]

By |February 2nd, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on It MUST be event season in Athens!|

On goals, thinking big, and making a huge leap forward!

What a whirlwind year-end! It was a reminder for us that setting goals – ones that even seem ridiculous at first – can make the once-impossible seem like no big deal.  

In November, we announced our biggest year-end fundraising goal ever: to raise $66,000 in the final eight weeks of the year. It was almost $20,000 more than what we raised in at the end of 2016. We knew this would be a stretch goal – but the number was an important one to put out there. Books for Keeps is trying to add 2,200 children to our program in spring 2018. That big, scary $66,000 goal represented the sponsorships needed just to increase our program size (to say nothing of sustaining our program at existing schools!)

Two weeks before the end of the year, it looked a little dreary. Donations slowed way down in the week before Christmas. We prepared ourselves for falling far short, but congratulated ourselves on a terrific year-end. We would at least match the 2016 totals – a high-water mark for us. (Heck, just in October, we learned we would be getting our biggest grant ever – a $35,000 commitment from the Riverview Foundation to help fund our program in Elbert County.)

However, we totally underestimated the generosity of our community – a growing community of people from the new counties we serve – like Elbert – and from our wider community of supporters from as far as Texas and California.

So, it’s with much excitement that we share the results of our 2017 year-end campaign –

:::DRUMROLL:::

With the final sponsorships, grants, and individual checks that came in the mail just today, Jan. 4 – post-marked December 29th and December 30th, we raised an [...]

By |January 4th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on On goals, thinking big, and making a huge leap forward!|

Call for volunteer interns for spring 2018!

We are looking for interns for spring of 2018! Are you interested in positively impacting your community, while getting hands-on experience in a thriving Athens-based nonprofit? Books for Keeps wants YOU!   
                
Our staff of three – Program Manager Louis Crow, Media Coordinator Rainey Lynch, and Executive Director Leslie Hale – are seeking candidates to fill two internship openings. Both interns would begin in January, and applications will be accepted until both positions are filled.

Join us and get practical experience managing social media, fundraising, coordinating volunteers, and more. Spring is a busy, exciting time at Books for Keeps as we prepare to give away an estimated 100,000 books in area elementary schools.

Click the links to learn more about our Communications Intern position and our Volunteer Management Intern position, including instructions for applying to both.

By |December 8th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Call for volunteer interns for spring 2018!|

Meet our newest class-level sponsor!

If you haven’t been following our website closely, you may have missed some of our newest- and recently renewed- class-level sponsors for 2017! Though we can never truly express the extent of our gratitude, we are going to give it a shot.

After wrapping up our biggest round of distributions ever – with 74,000 books distributed to 6,200 children in four counties – we find ourselves reflecting on those individuals and companies whose support is so important in helping us reach those children. Our program – from the early days through this latest round of expansion – has been built on those people who step up and give a dollar to help buy a book, or $30 to sponsor a child, or $600 to sponsor a class.

This post will highlight the class sponsors that came on board or renewed in 2016-17 to help make this year’s program a reality. Look for more posts soon about our grade-level sponsors and some of our very special school sponsors!

Most recently, we’ve been honored to have Redfin as our newest class-level sponsor. Redfin reached out to our executive director, Leslie Hale, directly to learn more about how they could help Books for Keeps accomplish our goals – after being referred by an Atlanta-area Redfin agent. Welcome to the BFK family, Redfin!

Other class-level sponsors that renewed or came on board within the last program year:

IDology
Willard & Patti Hale
Sharon Jenkins
Lois & Lucy Lampkin Foundation
Kay Cook
JOMA Construction
Diane & Frank Klonowski
Coca-Cola Enterprises
Leon Farmer and Company
John & Katie Goette
Classic City Orthodontics
Sheneka Williams
Georgia Power
The Winthrop Foundation of Athens, GA

By |June 30th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Meet our newest class-level sponsor!|

Have you met our partner volunteer organizations?!

We are so thankful to all the wonderful organizations that came out to volunteer during 2017 distributions! Did you know that over a dozen individual groups came out to help make our distribution season a special experience for everyone? We are so grateful to be partnered with so many organizations and companies from our community that love to give back that we want to highlight those special partners:

Morgan and Morgan, Attorneys at Law
First Presbyterian Church of Athens
Avid Bookshop
United Way of Greater Atlanta
Athens Housing and Community Development
Sigma Tau Delta of University of North Georgia
House Electric
United Way of Northeast Georgia
Community Partnership of Elbert County
First Book UGA
Family Connection-Communities in Schools of Warren County
Allstate Agents (from Athens and Atlanta)
Northeast Georgia RESA
Classic City Rotary Club
Ethicon (Cornelia, GA location)
Georgia-Pacific Partners (from Warrenton and Warm Springs)

 

Thank you once more to all of these incredible organizations and community members who helped make this year’s distribution season the most successful yet!

By |June 6th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Have you met our partner volunteer organizations?!|

7 ways YOU can help keep the good going

Were you or a friend able to make it out to book distributions this year?  We’re so grateful to you for being a part of the story. And there are always opportunities to be involved. We want to share with you seven additional ways you can support and stay involved with Books for Keeps:

Complete our volunteer survey here and tell us about your experience. We want to know what we’re doing well and how we can do better as we work to reach more children together!

Tell 10 people about Books for Keeps and the magic you witnessed with us! Leverage your social media networks by sharing our Facebook page or Twitter and Instagram feeds.

Give, and invite two other people to give. The cost to sponsor a child is just $30 – or $600 to sponsor a classroom. And we can do so much with any amount in between! We have new monthly giving options available through our website so you can stretch your impact across the whole year. Now is a critical time for us, as we close out our fiscal year-end on June 30 and pay all final bills on the books we gave away!

Check for matching donation programs through your employer. Many companies will double your donation.

Rate us on greatnonprofits.org and share your story of joy, excitement, and the magic of reading with fellow volunteers across Athens. (You can also review us on Facebook!)
Host a book drive through your church, civic group, or business. Any books, for children or adults, that we can’t use in our program go to our annual BFK Book Sale.
Sign up for our newsletter to keep up with us throughout the year, learn about other [...]

By |June 2nd, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on 7 ways YOU can help keep the good going|

2017 BFK distribution shifts are now open for individual sign-ups!

It’s that time – sign up to volunteer to help us give away 72,000 books this spring!

It’s what we’ve all been waiting for here at Books for Keeps – distribution time! And this year is our biggest distribution season yet. We’ve been working the past 11 months toward giving away 72,000 books to 6,000 kids in Athens, Atlanta, Warrenton, and Elberton this spring!

Join fellow volunteers by helping children select and count their books, and record their feedback about our book selection. This is the ultimate volunteer experience! Share in the joy of a Books for Keeps distribution by signing up to volunteer with us.

No special skills are required; training is provided in the first 10 minutes of each shift – so the most important requirement is to show up on time! To sign up as an individual, go to our sign-up.com page!

If you are part of a group that would like to adopt an entire shift (8 to 12 volunteers), please email Leslie Hale to sign up. Available shifts will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign-ups are now open to the general public, so if there’s a special school or special day when you’d like to volunteer, please don’t delay!

*******

Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School – Athens, GA
Monday, April 24th: 7:50 a.m. – 11:25 a.m. (ONLY ONE SPOT LEFT) | 11:45 a.m. – 1:50 p.m. (SHIFT FULL)
Tuesday, April 25th: 9:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. (SHIFT FULL) | 12:20 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. (SHIFT FULL)

Barnett Shoals Elementary School – Athens, GA
Wednesday, April 26th: 8:15 a.m. – 10:35 a.m. (SHIFT FULL) | 11:10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (SHIFT FULL)
Thursday, April 27th: 9:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.(SHIFT FULL) | 11:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. (SHIFT FULL)

Winterville [...]

By |April 3rd, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on 2017 BFK distribution shifts are now open for individual sign-ups!|

2017 BFK distribution shifts are open for group sign-ups!

It’s that time – sign up to volunteer with your group and help us give away 72,000 books this spring!

It’s what we’ve all been waiting for here at Books for Keeps – distribution time! And this year is our biggest distribution season yet. We’ve been working the past 11 months toward giving away 72,000 books to 6,000 kids in Athens, Atlanta, Warrenton, and Elberton this spring!

Join fellow volunteers by helping children select and count their books, and record their feedback about our book selection. This is the ultimate volunteer experience! Share in the joy of a Books for Keeps distribution by signing up to volunteer with us.

No special skills are required; training is provided in the first 10 minutes of each shift – so the most important requirement is to show up on time! We are not quite ready to sign up individuals for shifts – those spots will open during the first week of April (so stay in the loop by signing up for our newsletter!)

If you are part of a group that would like to adopt an entire shift (8 to 12 volunteers), please email Leslie Hale to sign up. Available shifts will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign-ups will open to the general public (and individuals) during the first week of April, so if there’s a special school or special day when you’d like to volunteer, please don’t delay!

*******

Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School – Athens, GA
Monday, April 24th: 7:50 a.m. – 11:25 a.m. | 11:45 a.m. – 1:50 p.m.
Tuesday, April 25th: 9:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. | 12:20 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.

Barnett Shoals Elementary School – Athens, GA
Wednesday, April 26th: 8:15 a.m. – 10:35 a.m. | 11:10 a.m. – [...]

By |March 28th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on 2017 BFK distribution shifts are open for group sign-ups!|

It’s Book Drive time! (Updated)

The Books for Keeps bi-annual book drive is happening now!
Twice a year, Books for Keeps organizes community-wide book drives to help collect books for both our program and our annual book sale. We would like to thank our partner organizations who are hosting book drives currently:

Athens First Bank & Trust
UGA American Medical Student Association
Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful
Sigma Tau Delta at UNG
Girl Scout Troop 12050
Rocky Branch Elementary School
Ebenezer Baptist Church West
Friends and Neighbors of Camilla Bracewell
First Presbyterian Church
Junior League of Athens
Double Helix STEAM School
Allstate Insurance, Merryn Walker
Clarke Central High School
Friends and Neighbors of Mary Madden
Leon Farmer & Company
Pi Beta Phi at UGA
Learning Ally
Friends and Neighbors of Gina Gallois

If you or your friends and family have books to donate, feel free to drop them off at one of these sites that are open to the public. Note- the Clarke County High School and Double Helix donation sites are only available to students and staff.

Book drives are a critical part of what we do, and they would not be possible without your help. And don’t be discouraged- there’s never a bad time to host a book drive! Though we organize community-wide book drives twice a year, we are happy to help coordinate a book drive at any point during the year, as we are always accepting donations. (And if you can’t make it to one of these locations – or have books to donate during another time of year – our community-wide drop-off sites are always accepting books!)

Email info@booksforkeeps.org if you’re interested [...]

By |March 16th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on It’s Book Drive time! (Updated)|