Former Borders Associates

Financial Assistance Qualifying Life-Event Categories

The typical areas of assistance that are currently being offered to former Borders associates are:

Note: Grants are never given for expenses that are being reimbursed by other sources, such as insurance companies.

Immediate Disaster Assistance

Help during an evacuation and for up to 72 hours after the disaster strikes

The disaster may affect only a few individuals, such as a house or apartment fire, or an entire community, such as a flood, tornado, or hurricane.

Foundation assistance focuses on meeting a bookseller’s and their families’ immediate emergency needs caused by disaster.  In dire situations we provide help with immediate needs:

1) Transportation costs for mandatory evacuation.

2) Hotel expense assistance when free shelter or housing is not available through community or family resources.

3) Emergency food and water expense assistance provided if not covered by household savings or community resources.

If your household is the path of a natural disaster such as flood, fire, earthquake or tornado please follow evacuation or preparedness guidelines. You should know what your risks are and prepare to protect yourself, your family and community.

For more information about disaster preparedness check out these helpful sites:

Additional documents required for immediate disaster assistance:

  1. Red Cross intake form or FEMA evacuation notice
  2. Lodging quote or lodging expenses documentation

Apply Now   Instructions

To access the expedited application form in Word click here (Word).

Post Disaster Assistance

The disaster may affect only a few individuals, such as a house or apartment fire, or an entire community, such as a flood, tornado, or hurricane.  Foundation assistance focuses on meeting a bookseller’s and their families’ post disaster needs, in situations where there is a financial crisis not able to be alleviated by the use of household savings.

If a bookseller is requesting assistance post disaster we may be able to help with:

1)  Loss of wages caused by a store being closed for an extended period of time due to the disaster

2)  Repairs to the employee’s home to make it habitable

Additional documents required for post disaster assistance:

1)  FEMA registration (if eligible)

2)  Insurance claim and quote for repairs (for repairs to dwelling)

3) Documentation of lost wages via letter or  contact information from the bookstore owner or manager

Apply Now   Instructions

To access the application form click here (Word)

Divorce or separation

A sudden financial hardship due to the loss of regular household income can be caused by divorce or legal separation, or the loss of court mandated support.

Additional documents required for divorce or separation:

  1. Divorce decree or affidavit of separation (can also be a mediation agreement)
  2. Court ordered child support benefit documentation (if applicable)

Apply Now   Instructions

To access the application form click here (Word)

Domestic violence

An applicant fleeing an abusive or violent situation is urged to leave as soon as they feel endangered.

In situations involving domestic violence that have resulted in an applicant’s need to change his or her residence quickly, the Foundation may provide assistance related to the associate’s moving costs.

Additional documents required for domestic violence are very specific and an applicant is urged to contact the Book Industry Charitable Foundation for more details at 866-733-9064 or

Apply Now   Instructions

To access the application form click here (Word)

Job loss by partner or spouse

A sudden financial hardship due to the loss of regular household income may be caused by the involuntary job loss by a bookseller’s spouse or partner. When a bookseller’s household experiences loss of income for this reason, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation may provide financial assistance to help cover basic living expenses for up to three months, if there is sufficient evidence that financial equilibrium will be achieved during that period.

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation is not able to provide financial assistance in lieu of an applicant’s compensation from Borders Group, Inc.

Additional documents required for partner or spouse job loss:

  1. Job separation paperwork
  2. Unemployment filing or benefits letter
  3. Final pay stub from the employer prior to the job loss

Apply Now   Instructions

To access the application form click here (Word)

Serious medical condition or disability

All applicants are encouraged to carry health insurance as large medical bills can have a disastrous effect on a household’s finances. However, Foundation assistance is available to help solve short-term financial emergencies created by serious medical conditions. Examples of assistance include paying the patient’s share of covered insurance expenses or assisting with the purchase of special equipment not covered by insurance.

Serious medical conditions include illnesses, injuries, or mental or physical conditions that involve one of the following: hospital care, extended absence from work coupled with treatment, chronic conditions requiring treatment and permanent or long-term conditions requiring treatment. Assistance may also be provided when emergency treatment is needed and partial payment or a down payment is required for treatment to be received.

Most requests for assistance are for the patient’s share of covered expenses after health plan payments from the provider have already been made. Typically, the Foundation does not assist with co-payments or premium payments for medical services.

Book Industry Charitable Foundation financial assistance is not a substitute for participation in a health plan. Assistance for applicants who chose not to participate in a medical plan may be limited. If a grant for assistance is given to an associate who has significant medical expenses the Foundation may choose to use medical mediation services to reduce the overall costs of the medical bill and allow for payment of a greater percentage of the expense.

The Foundation does not provide assistance for experimental or preventive procedures not covered by the applicant’s health plan and Foundation funds are not provided for elective medical treatment. The Foundation cannot assist with medical insurance premiums.

Additional documents required for serious medical condition or disability

  1. Doctor’s note or affidavit of disability (including information on the illness or injury, course of treatment and recovery time)
  2. Out of pocket medical charges or quotes for the necessary procedure
  3. Signed HIPPA form to access the HIPPA form click here (PDF)

Apply Now   Instructions

To access the application form click here (Word)

Utility shut-off prevention

Utility assistance may be provided to a former associate only when a shut-off notice has been issued and the household may lose an essential utility (gas, heating oil or electric service only).  Binc understands that quick action is needed to prevent a utility shut-off.  We strive to review bookseller requests confidentially and expediently.

Qualifications for providing or maintaining essential utility service:

  • Financial assistance will only cover the amount needed to prevent shut-off.
  • Eligibility and need will be based on the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) guidelines set by the U.S. government.
  • Applicant must have made a good faith effort to stay current on the utility bill

Additional documents required for Utility Shut-off

  1. Official utility shut-off notice (not a past due notice)
  2. Most current utility bill statement

Apply Now   Instructions

To access the application form click here (Word)


For the past ten years, the Foundation’s scholarship program focused on making a positive impact in the lives of Borders Group associates by offering scholarships based on financial need, academic performance and community involvement. Scholarships were awarded to associates and their dependents for full or part-time study at the accredited institution of the student’s choice. Over $1.1 million has been awarded to help defray the costs of higher education for 460 individuals.

Many booksellers and their family members received scholarship awards that helped them achieve their dreams as educators, writers, engineers, doctors & chefs.

“This scholarship will help me continue my studies, so that I can become a high school English teacher and help the youth of America.” Christine, Florida

“Without this scholarship my academic opportunities for the upcoming year would have been limited. Because of your generosity, and the generosity of donors who contribute to the Foundation, I will be able to pursue my educational goals this year as an aspiring historian.” Nathan, Illinois

“Upon completion of my degree, I plan to pursue a career improving mental health in the military, specifically working with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, including promoting advocacy & awareness, as well as directly assisting veterans and their families who are battling illness. Thank you for your generosity and support as I begin both my professional as well as my personal journey toward providing our nation’s veterans with the resources they not only require, but deserve ” Amanda, Michigan