When you live in Minnesota, falling on the ice during winter is a given. The experience usually only results in a bruised ego, but this winter one of my little slips landed me at the surgeon’s. In early February, I fractured my fibula and had to get a metal plate and six screws to correct the injury. And let me tell you: three weeks on crutches and another month in a walking boot was not very fun… especially on ice… during one of most treacherous winters Minnesotans have ever seen. But in reality, the crutches and the boot were only minor annoyances in comparison to my anxiety over what this injury would cost me. As a full-time bookseller, my savings account is not exactly padded, nor do I have any paid sick time to speak of. All in all, I missed over seven days of work (a couple due to limited mobility during a particularly vicious blizzard a couple days after my surgery). I was stressed out, to say the least.
The amount of each financial assistance grant from Binc is calculated after conversations between applicants and Binc staff members. Each applicant must have experienced an unexpected personal financial hardship to qualify for assistance, and the scope of the hardships vary with each case. The amount of each grant is designed to bring that particular bookseller back to the state of financial equilibrium that they enjoyed before the crisis arose. The Foundation’s goal is to help booksellers and their families quickly get back on their feet instead of facing a long-term financial hardship.
The Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation knows that even small setbacks can have significant impact on a bookseller’s life. Because of that, the assistance provided by the Binc Foundation is geared to get booksellers quickly back on their feet and doing what they love – connecting their community with the books and authors to enhance their lives.
Since 1996, the Binc Foundation has assisted booksellers facing a variety of hardships, saving them from financial disaster and forever changing their lives. Binc has become a critical link in ensuring that booksellers, who may face financial difficulties, have a safety net.
In mid-December a Minnesota family was looking at the upcoming holidays and the long, cold winter with a sense of anxiety. But with Binc’s help they were able to turn things around and enjoy a stress-free holiday and comfortably weather the record setting cold to follow. The grateful mother writes:
Read this great story from the Ventura County Star about how Binc was able to help a bookseller in California. We are thrilled to have been able to help!
Clarey Rudd, a longtime independent bookseller in Ventura, received a gift of more than $100,000* to pay his debt after surgery. He was uninsured when he underwent surgery for cancer. Photo credit Joseph A. Garcia – Ventura County Star
This is a story of a family given something amazing they never sought from a donor they had no idea was out there.
Household finances are often a balancing act even in the best of times. When an unexpected event causes a loss of household income, a family can be knocked into a downward spiral that seems to have no end. At the Binc Foundation we hear of these circumstances on a regular basis. Here are the stories of several of the families we have helped this year.
“I never thought I’d be in this position.”
Day after day, year after year, this is the most repeated phrase from grant applicants. No one plans to have financial difficulty. Emergencies don’t give warnings. Hardships come upon booksellers unexpectedly and often very quickly.
Re-posted with permission from the Denver Post. Post by Tucker Shaw on the Pages books blog – blogs.denverpost.com/books
Help is on the way for Colorado bookstores and bookstore employees affected by the floods. The Book Industry Charitable Foundation (bincfoundation.org), a.k.a. Binc, a Michigan-based nonprofit that sponsors charitable giving, financial assistance grants and higher education scholarships to bookstore employees – particularly in times of emergency or extreme hardship – announced this week that they’d be contacting Colorado bookstores with offers to help out in the wake of recent flooding along the Front Range.
The Book Industry Charitable Foundation is pleased to be able to help bookstore employees through times of personal crisis with financial assistance grants. Higher education scholarships allow bookstore employees (or their dependents) to continue their education with less stress associated with the cost of their education. We know that the help we offer improves their immediate situation and allows booksellers to focus on their life in a more enjoyable way. It is the goal of the Binc Foundation to be a cornerstone in a caring community of book people.