Spring

Spring makes me happy. I know that the temperature and wind chill may lead you to believe otherwise; but spring is officially here.

I love how people’s moods change as it stays light later in the evening. For many, thoughts turn to pretty new clothes, planning a garden, and outdoor projects. For me, it’s all about spring cleaning and de-cluttering. I’m not a neat freak; I have dust bunnies that are almost as large as my cats (who contributed to the making of said dust bunnies). But I do like organizing and attempting to find a place for everything.

One of my favorite books is Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin. She also wrote The Happiness Project and both have inspired me to tackle some projects that I am forever putting off.

Happier at Home imageFor example, last weekend, I finally gave up on the idea that I was going to use my small-ish paper shredder to go through about 15 years worth of documents and took it all to the local office supply store to shred. Ten minutes and $10 later, I felt as if I was 30 lbs lighter instead of the boxes of paperwork I left behind. The happiness I felt is exactly what Rubin describes in her books. Check out her website to learn more.

This weekend, I’m sorting through what I no longer need, either to donate or sell at my community’s yard sale next month. Donating so that someone else gets use out of something that I no longer need is another thing that makes me happy (and gets me a step closer to a clutter-free house!).

Speaking of donating, Book Industry Charitable Foundation can use always put your donations to good use – whether it’s a one-time or recurring donation, a gift of airline miles, credit card rewards points, or donating your time. Your donation helps book people in need. As a former bookseller and a lifelong book person, I’m proud to have donated to Binc Foundation in various ways since it started in 1996. Learn more about how you can help by donating.

Hopefully, it will soon be warm enough wherever you may be to enjoy spring!

Post by Mary Fitzgerald, optimistic member of the Marketing & Communications Committee.

Volunteering at Binc

I have been volunteering at the Binc Foundation for almost a year. What a year it has been! I visit the Binc office for a few hours a week and do my best to help Pam, Kit, and Alison update the website, figure out a social media plan, and anything else they need me to do.

Why do I volunteer at Binc? I probably should say something noble like “I get to help Binc assist booksellers in need” or “I am helping to carry on the legacy of Borders”. Truthfully, I volunteer for those reasons and also because it is a lot of fun. I enjoy working with Pam, Kit and Alison who are incredibly driven and dedicated to Binc’s mission, which leads them to give me interesting and challenging tasks to complete. I’m learning tons about social media, creating quality website content, blogging, non-profit business and so much more. I helped to celebrate surviving the Zombie Apocalypse! and watched a Zombie Flash Mob invade Arbor Brewing Company in downtown Ann Arbor (I don’t think many people can say that about their volunteering experiences). I also had the opportunity to take pictures of the Borders “B” in various places around Ann Arbor to promote the auction of the letters from the Borders Store 01 sign.

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I’m grateful that I have been given the opportunity to volunteer at the Foundation. Not only am I getting a chance to learn more about social media and marketing (and Zombies), but more importantly, I’m also helping Binc with their mission to assist booksellers in need.

If you are interested in volunteering at the Binc Foundation please check out the Get Involved page or contact info@bincfoundation.org

Post by Penny Johnson, member of the Marketing & Communications Committee

Selling on eBay for Binc

Do you sell on eBay? If so, then you can help raise money for Binc to assist booksellers in need, while you sell through eBay Giving Works. Simply follow the easy steps on the eBay Giving Works site to designate a percentage of the sale of an item to be donated to Binc.

ebay_blog_imageYour merchandise will be tagged as a charitable sale and show up on our branded Giving Work page as well as the general categories you choose. It has been shown that listings for a charity get more attention and often sell for more. As an added bonus, when your listing sells, eBay will credit back a portion of the seller fees!

The Binc Foundation will continue to list items on our Giving Works page and we’d like to have you join us.

Not a seller, but definitely a buyer? Be sure to bookmark our page and check back often.

Medical Recovery Services: Helping Binc Reduce Medical Bills

In just over two years of working with Medical Recovery Services (MRS), Binc has been able to help make a substantial difference in the lives of 20 bookstore employees and their families. The MRS staff provides professional and detailed support to advocate for the best care at the lowest prices before, during or after a medical illness.

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Many of the bookstore employees requesting assistance with medical bills have come to Binc after serious medical procedures, such as a knee replacement, heart surgery and even chemotherapy. These bookstore employees who were experiencing extreme financial hardship came to us with a total of $78,000 in medical debt and MRS successfully negotiated these bills down to $34,500. with the 56% total savings negotiated by MRS, Binc was able to eliminate all of the outstanding bills.

MRS services and support has helped Binc be good stewards of the dollars generously donated by bookstore employees, bookstore owners, publishers and friends of the Foundation. If you or someone you know is dealing with a medical illness that has caused a financial hardship MRS is a great resource. If you are a bookstore employee experiencing a medical illness please contact Binc to see how we can help.