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.

books resized

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.


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.

Where do you get your book industry news?

Binc is searching for the best avenues for reaching book store owners, booksellers, book store lovers and other would-be supporters. Our biggest challenge continues to be finding book store employees who are having an unexpected emergency financial crisis and getting them the assistance the desperately need.

To this end we are asking you for assistance. Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey, letting us know where you go for book industry information. What are the companies, publications, blogs, social media pages/groups we should be in contact with? In this internet age, there are hundreds of outlets and you can help us decide the best places to focus our outreach.

We realize that you are often asked to take surveys and your time is valuable, so we have added in a small bribe. Two people who complete the survey will be chosen at random to receive a gift card from Target or Whole Foods. Please fill out the survey by March 10th to be entered for the drawing.

Thank you in advance for helping the Binc Foundation focus our efforts to find those booksellers who need our help.

Borders Signage Auction a Big Hit

Borders Signage Auction a Big Hit

We were blown away with the response to our first-ever Charity Auction on eBay. The signage letters from the outside of the Borders flagship store in Ann Arbor were clearly much more sought after than we had imagined. Book people started the bidding and bid fast and furious to the bitter end, resulting in more than $3900 being raised to date. Check out our eBay page for additional letters still on the auction block. We are listing items regularly, so check often!

 binc letters

The letters are finding new homes all over the country. A children’s book author in Massachusetts purchased the word BOOKS, and we hope it will bring both joy and inspiration. A woman in New York purchased a letter for her Borders Alum brother and it is gracing his Ann Arbor home. A husband from New Jersey wrote “My wife worked for Borders for almost 12 years so rest assured it is going to a good book loving home.” We hope to hear where all the letters end up, follow us on Facebook to see the results.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the building owners, Malcolm Properties, LLC. Willingness to help and quick action on the part of the owners and demolition crew rescued these letters from the dumpster and allowed them to be used for a good cause. All the proceeds will benefit the programs of the Binc Foundation in support of booksellers.

We send a huge “thank you” to all who participated (and continue to participate) in the auction. We know that the winners will treasure their little piece of Borders history.