I recently read a report on the Social Impact of Volunteering by the Points of Light Institute. This report states that “individuals who volunteer at a young age are more likely to sustain their participation in later life.” The report also outlines several positive effects on volunteers as individuals; they see an increase in their self-esteem, enhancement of various skills and capabilities, expanded career path opportunities, and better physical and mental health. Today’s organization offers one easy way to incorporate giving and service into
The mission of Milk + Bookies is to promote service learning and literacy promotion. They are a nationwide charitable organization based in Los Angeles, California that inspires children to give back, using books as its currency.
In 2004, Meredith Alexander had one small child and wanted her family time to involve something meaningful from time to time. It was difficult to find community service projects or fundraisers geared toward families. She decided to invite all her friends with small children to a lovely children’s bookstore on a Sunday afternoon. The children chose books to purchase and donate to a local low-income preschool. She setup coloring tables to decorate bookplates for the kids to inscribe their selections. When the line to checkout was 30 minutes long, she knew that she wasn’t the only parent looking for this kind of day with their children.
Milk + Bookies is now a 501c3 nonprofit. They promote holding events for kids to donate books to their peers who do not have access to books of their own. The organization combines the two essential and worthwhile efforts of literacy promotion and service learning. The events plant a seed of giving into the young guests which spark feelings of importance, self-confidence, and the desire to give again.
In just three years since becoming a 501c3 nonprofit in 2009, they have raised almost 35,000 books and inspired nearly 9,000 kids to participate in giving back.
How can you help?
The program is designed so that anyone can host their own event.
- For $30 you can buy a Bookies Box. This toolkit provides you with “I donated” stickers, book plates, bookmarks, and balloons for your event.
- There are also toolkits for birthday parties, class projects, and other types of events on the Milk + Bookies website. The organization will help you find a local organization to donate to if you don’t already have a recipient in mind.
- After you hold an event, fill out a short post-event form to share your experience and help the organization track their impact.
- You can also donate and shop for other Milk + Bookies merchandise on their website.