MSB is feeling the Love!

This start to spring has been filled with support from our community.  We have new sponsors, volunteers, and we’ve received our first grant.  Whoo-hoo!  And a steady stream of amazing book drives and distribution events.

We are excited to announce that we have an Ebay Store!  We plan to sell a few adult books in hopes of generating enough revenue to pay the rent for our work space.  Please stop by our store and purchase a book.

BOOK DRIVES

Several schools wrapped up book drives for MSB this month.  Novi High School brought in over 2000 books.  Our three local Walled Lake elementary schools blew us away!  Loon Lake students brought in over 1800 books, Walled Lake Elementary collected over 1200 books and Hickory Woods knocked it out of the park with 7300 books donated to MSB!! 

LIBRARY PARTNERS

We are so grateful to all the local Friends of the Library Programs that are donating books to MSB!  White Lake Library brought us 750 adult books, Wixom Library donated several boxes of children’s books, and Howell Library donated over 500 children’s and large print novels.  Pat and Debbie over at the Commerce Township Friends of the Library exceeded all expectations and gifted MSB over 2500 like new children’s and YA books.  

SCHOOL DISTRIBUTION

Thorne Elementary in Inkster received 200 books for their Caught you Reading Program.  During the course of the week staff hands out tickets to students that they catch reading.  On Fridays there is a drawing and several of the students that were caught reading choose a book to take home.

We had two Making Spirits Bright Free Book Fairs in South Redford Schools last week.  The students at Schofield Elementary received 1453 books and MSB gifted almost 2000 books at Fisher Elementary.  Every student self selected five books and a book tote bag to take home.

Making Spirits Bright provides free book fairs to schools in areas that are classified as book deserts. The majority of children living in book deserts do not have access to books in their homes. Early literacy is a huge indicator of later in life success. MSB is providing these children age appropriate books to become more proficient readers. And those who read for pleasure are more likely to have better mental health and well-being.

COMMUNITY DISTRIBUTION

We debuted our MSB at Home Library Program at Brilliant Detroits Dexter-Linwood Hub. WE put on a story time and shared tips with the parents to engage their kids in reading. The children painted and decorated their own mini-libraries to take home and self-selected 15 books each to fill them. 

Our adult book community distribution is really starting to take off.  We are delivering thousands of books to nursing homes and subsidized senior housing.  This month we added St Joseph’s Manor in Detroit, Orchards of Redford, Maple Heights in Allen Park, Westland Nursing and the Vernon Center in Detroit to our delivery routes.  With this being said, we need volunteers to deliver books, if you’re interested, let us know!!

VOLUNTEERS

We have collaborated with Ford Motor Company’s volunteer program and they are sending wonderful volunteers our way.  Ford pays their team members their regular pay to volunteer in the community twice a year.  And we are grateful to be on their list of partners.  

We have a new content writer. Gretchen Van Lente is a freelance and fiction writer who tutors school age children in reading and writing. She is a septuagenarian and a graduate of the Syracuse Writing Program. She is going to be sharing her expertise with us in a quarterly blog post.

Lindsay Casetta has stepped up to the challenge and will be working to collect data for MSB.  We are excited to have her help us navigate all the books coming in and out and volunteer hours being worked.   Lindsay received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Central Michigan University with a focus on Management Information Systems.  She is currently a home based Travel agent, a mom to two wonderful girls and has been married to her husband, Paul, for fifteen years.  Lindsay has been a lover of books and libraries since she was a young girl when mom started a small library in their hall linen closet.  She believes reading is for everybody and everyone should have access to books.  She looks forward to volunteering with Making Spirits Bright.

And as always we have tons of NHS students sorting books every weekend.  I’m sure going to miss all of the help these young people provide while they are enjoying their summer break.  

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

Making Spirits Bright is so grateful for our new sponsorships!  Fox Buick GMC, Hatteras Printing and Andiamo Detroit Riverfront were so generous providing money to purchase over 1500 new reusable, drawstring, book tote bags for children to take their new books home in.

Our friends at 2 Dandelions Book Store in Brighton sponsored us by donating a dollar to MSB for every children’s book they sold during the month of March.  Not only did they raise over $630 for MSB, co-owner Jeri Kay came and worked a free, in school, book fair with us!

And our most exciting fundraising news…….we received our first grant!!  The Skillman Foundation has gifted us $5000!  We will be using a portion of this to purchase our first permanent outdoor, book collection box.  This way there is always a way for members of our community to donate books to MSB.

The Skillman Foundation partners with people to transform education systems, nurturing the brilliance and power of Detroit youth. It has granted over $730-million and has served as a vocal advocate to strengthen K-12 education, afterschool programming, child-centered neighborhoods, youth and community leadership, and racial equity and justice.

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 Leader

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

693 923 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.

          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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                Interested in sponsorship?

                We are grateful for your giving spirit. Send a message, and we will get back to you!