March is all things Reading and Books!

March is Reading Month!  We have been beyond busy over here at MSB collecting, sorting and distributing free books to communities in Southeast Michigan. 

Our founder and leader, Maria Dismondy, was on Fox2News this month! She shared all the wonderful things MSB is doing and how to get involved.

We are officially moved into our new space and settling in.  We hope to someday be located directly in the areas we are serving in Pontiac or Detroit.  However, we were gifted an incredible deal on rent, so we are grateful to be in our own space in Farmington Hills.  

BOOK DRIVES 

The Livonia Athletic District is a beautiful indoor sports complex. They are now a permanent Book Collection site for Making Spirits Bright. You can drop off your donations from 6AM to midnight 7 days a week! 

Did you know that members of the Jewish community complete a Mitzpha Project before making their Bar or Bat Mitzpha? An awesome teen in the area worked with MSB to run his very own book drive for his project.  He collected over 2000 children’s books! Way to go Jacob!!! 

Milford music school, Michigan Rock School, hosted a book drive and brought in a whooping 1140 books!  Thank you Jon and team for supporting MSB!

For March is reading month, three local elementary schools, Loon Lake, Hickory Woods and Walled Lake are all hosting book drives.  Hickory Woods is blowing us away and filing vans of books every week.  I can’t wait to see what the final number of books they bring in is.  I think they’re going to rival the drive the Walled Lake Western High School did. 

SCHOOL DISTRIBUTION

Each month we bring books in and after weeding out what is no longer relevant or historically accurate, we get our like-new donations back out into the community. 

This month we supported Detroit Prep with almost 300 high interest young adult books. 

Pardee Elementary school in Dearborn celebrates March is Reading Month by having children select books to take home. Making Spirits Bright was able to provide 1140 books to the school to use for this special event. 

Polk Elementary celebrates reading month with a special Reading Ranger!  MSB gifted 1164 books that the Reading Ranger will send home with her students throughout the month.

New Haven Elementary received 996 books to distribute at their Reading is Sweet Literacy Night.

COMMUNITY DISTRIBUTION

In addition to keeping all of our partner shelves stocked with books, we’ve added a few new partners this month!  

The Detroit Institure for Children currently serves children with special needs in over 180 schools, Head Start, and Early Intervention programs throughout Michigan. We will be supplying them with 200 books bimonthly for their after school tutoring programs in schools. 

And we teamed up with Pontiac’s Project Excel and gifted 240 books to their kids at an afterschool program they held at the Pontiac Public Library.  Project Excel is helping students develop interpersonal skills and leadership abilities, while achieving academic success.

VOLUNTEERS

We are excited to have a new team member! Heather Wilson is a boy mom, former teacher, and picture book lover. She fills her days with volunteering, walking her dog, and working on freelance projects. She loves listening to a WIDE genre of music and podcasts throughout her day (Vance Joy and We Can Do Hard Things are her favs)!  Heather will be using her skills to share important literacy information with our community in a monthly blog.  She has also graciously taken on the task of writing a monthly newsletter for MSB. 

You don’t have to live in Michigan to volunteer at Making Spirits Bright! We believe an important part of the work we do is to bring attention to the deficit there is around literacy, both locally and nationally. 

Sarah Surgey is a children’s author who is based in the UK but published worldwide. Apart from writing full-time, Sarah is also a busy mum of 4 girls. She originally comes from a teaching background and has always enjoyed using books as a way to start conversations with children.  Sarah will be sharing her expertise with us in a quarterly blog post.

FUNDRAISING

This is definitely not the easiest part of running a nonprofit. Our operational costs are minimal but the more funding we bring in, the more we can do for the children and families at our programs.

We are currently looking for local sponsors to donate funding to purchase reusable drawstring tote bags for children to take their new books home in. Your company logo gets printed on the bag and bags are distributed to hundreds of children in southeast Michigan!  If you’re interested in sponsoring a free book fair, please contact us!

Come visit us and donate your gently used books at our new location.  28580 Orchard Lake Rd, Farmington Hills, 48334.  We collect books there every Friday from 12-2p and Saturday 10a-12p!

Tracy, Distribution Coordinator

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

2560 1920 Tracy Tullis

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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.

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