The School Year Ends and Summer Reading Begins!

This month was a whirlwind. We learned so much as mom’s leading up a nonprofit. That spring is busy in our family lives which makes it super busy in our nonprofit world! We blinked and the month was over!

By far, one of the most exciting parts at MSB this month was our Free Teacher Shop. We invited over two dozen teachers that were either new to the profession, new to a grade level or working at a Title 1 school. Teachers came in with wagons, suitcases and other large totes to carry their new stash of books out. We distributed almost 5000 books in two days at the Free Teacher Shop!

We have found so much support in the community of book access groups. We are now proud members of the Diverse Books for All Coalition. They are a national consortium of nonprofits and membership organizations working together to increase access to affordable, high quality children’s books by and about diverse races, cultures, identities, and abilities.

BOOK DRIVES

When we first started MSB we were reaching out to local partners to host book drives for us. We are so thankful that we have members of the community reaching out to us now! We are still learning about the fine balance of timing the books coming in with the distribution of the books going out. On average, we are bringing in 10,000 books a month while 12,000 books are headed out to the community.

A bittersweet set of donations have been coming in from teachers retiring. We know it’s hard for them to let go of their wonderful collection but those books are going to good homes. 

The Dublin Elementary Girl Scouts Troop hosted a dynamite book drive that brought in over 7000 books! The Faith Community Center, in Bellville, hosted a drive for us along with 

Grant Elementary surprising us with a book drive bringing in just over 5000 books and we had over 3000 books donated by individuals that heard about us through word of mouth.

Chick-Fil-A at Twelve Oaks Mall hosted a book drive for us too! They also gave out free ice cream in exchange for book donations!!!

Saint James Church in Novi hosted an amazing drive in May and donated thousands of books to Making Spirits Bright!

And the Livonia JBF sale donated their leftover books to us (993 to be exact!) The sale is held twice a year at the Livonia Athletic District, one of our permanent book drop locations. 

LIBRARY PARTNERS

The Friends of the Library groups host multiple book sales a year at local libraries then donate their remaining copies to us! This month, we received book donations from the Livonia, Walled Lake , Howell and Wixom Friends of the Library groups!  Thank you Friends!

SCHOOL DISTRIBUTION

Did you know that our founder went to members of her book club to see who wanted to help get this nonprofit off the ground and running? She did and our board is made up of avid readers! When we are at a book fair, our volunteers are working with children to find books that match their interests and this was noted in a beautiful testimonial from an event this month.

“I wanted to thank you for the wonderful book fair. Nothing but good words and smiles were exchanged throughout the day. The dedication of the volunteers finding books that kids expressed interest in was more than I could have ever expected. I know the word is spreading more in SRSD and we are looking forward to connecting again in the future. Also, if there is any other volunteer work/ ways to donate, please let me know. I was absolutely blown away.”   -Jaimie Turco, Reading Interventionist, South Redford Schools.

We distributed 2909 books to Thorne Elementary, in Inkster, for their Summer Reading and Summer School Programs.

 In May we hosted MSB Free Book Fairs in South Redford Schools at Jefferson Elementary (1473 books gifted) and Pierce Middle School (2170 books selected by students).  We wrapped up the school year in June with a Book Fair at Daly Elementary in Inkster, where students self-selected 824 books.

COMMUNITY DISTRIBUTION

While our main focus is getting books to children ages birth to 18, we do get donations that are perfect for our friends at subsidized senior homes and nursing homes in Metro Detroit. We especially like putting these boxes together with titles that come requested for our senior friends!

Welcome to our newest partners: St Joseph’s Village-Ypsilanti, Canterbury on the Lake Waterford and Magnolia by the Lakes-Keego Harbor

We had the amazing opportunity to partner with Detroit PAL and distribute 2083 books to children at their Opening Day in Corktown! Detroit PAL is a collaboration between the Detroit Police Department and community volunteers, helping youth find their greatness through athletic, academic, and leadership development programs.

COMMUNITY PARTNERS

We are teaming up with Easter Seals as a new partner! We will have two bookshelves at their Walled Lake location to support their WIC program! Just like Hospitality House and All Things Women, the shelves are stocked by our volunteers for their clients to self select what they want and need.

VOLUNTEERS

Thank you to the Ford Labor Team, who came in with large groups to sort books this month. If you like a good before and after, check out the amazing work they did organizing our Intake Room!

We are always in need of volunteers, specifically to pick up books from book drives and  deliver books to our community partners.  If you or someone you know might be interested in this, please let us know!  

FUNDRAISING

In order to pay our rent and purchase our supplies for programming, we write grants and have been testing different fundraising strategies. In May, we sold some of our used adult books at the Oakpointe Mom to Mom Sale in Novi.  We are learning what works and what doesn’t and we are building momentum fundraising!

The Walled Lake Elementary and Hickory Woods Elementary Staff selected MSB as the recipient of the proceeds from their staff volleyball game and the sales from the concessions.  And Walled Lake Elementary went above and beyond and did a Change Wars Challenge too!  The total donation was over $2000!

There are several corporate sponsors that we are working with to sponsor our Book Fair bags for the fall programs we have already booked! Thank you for your support, Cippraone Contracting  and SCHNEIDERMAN & SHERMAN, P.C for your generous donations this month!

We also visited the Farmington Author and Book Festival to fundraise. It was so much fun meeting other book lovers and to talk with them about all things BOOKS!

And we are learning the ropes with our Ebay Store, stop by and purchase a book to support MSB!

DONATE

Come visit us and donate your gently used books at our new location.  

Making Spirits Bright, 28580 Orchard Lake Rd, Farmington Hills, 48334. 

Our summer hours for book collection and sorting are as follows!

July 5th 11-1 

July 9th 11-1

July 12th 12-2

July 19th 11-1

July 23rd 11-1

July 30th 11-1

August 2nd 12-2

August 6th 11-1

August 9th 12-2

August 20th 11-1

August 27th 12-2

If you’d like to volunteer and sort books during any of these times, please sign up here.

Maria Dismondy, Director and Founder

PS We are a 501(c)3 and accept monetary donations from individuals and organizations. Please consider donating here.

And shop our Ebay Store to support MSB!

1230 923 Maria Dismondy

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          Strategic Plan

          Ensuring Effective Communications & Engagement

          Goal #1

          Increase MSB’s visibility and presence in the larger community in order to ensure that we are able to attract more long-term supporters, donors and volunteers.

          Goal #2

          Develop strategic partnerships with key community organizations in order to ensure maximum reach and efficacy.

          Goal #3

          Continue to expand programs and partnerships with schools to ensure that we are reaching our target market.

          Goal #4

          Develop and implement communications, marketing and evaluation efforts to expand awareness and track MSB’s community impact.

          Building Administrative & Operations Support

          Goal #1

          Develop policies and procedures to ensure the efficient operations of the staff, board and overall organization.

          Goal #2

          Establish a budget and financial management system that allows MSB’s board and staff to be proactive in ensuring the short- and long-term success of the organization.

          Securing Funding & Financial Resources

          Goal #1

          Focus fundraising efforts on key constituencies that we believe are likely to support MSB, most notably: educators; arts supporters; foundations active in the areas of education, youth development, etc; and individuals who have connections to the Founder and/or board members.

          Want to host a book drive?

          Reach out to us and we will provide you with our Book Drive Guide containing everything you need to know!

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