Calling all Sponsors!

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We are now ready to accept sponsors through our website at www.buildingabookshelf.org.   Click on Participate and you will see the sponsorship form at the bottom of the page.  Here is how it works:

You sign up to be a sponsor.  You can sponsor by the book, by the page, or by the month.  At the end of each month, I will send out a summary of the books I read for the month.  If you sponsored me for $2/book, then you would donate $2 for each book I read.  If I read 4 books in a month, you would donate $8. 

We’ll take the donations and put them to use building libraries in public locations where children can access the books.

IRS Update

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We’ve submitted our application to the IRS and now how received notification from them that they have received our application.  Not sure how much longer it will take them to make a ruling, but at least we know it is in the review process!

We’ve applied to the IRS!

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Put the application for 501(c)(3) status in the mail to the IRS yesterday.  That is the final big step in setting up the charity.  Our next big step is the launch party!

Next Big Milestone Complete – mostly

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We have finished the IRS application to become a 501(c)(3) charity!  As with any IRS paperwork, it was big, arduous, and scary.  But, we’ve finished it and we will be submitting it soon.  Just need to check and re-check that we’ve got everything that they need.  The next big thing after this will be planning the launch party!  I have a feeling that planning the launch party will be much more fun that filling out IRS Form 1023!

The Long Story…Part 2

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In early 2009, my husband and I faced a medical crisis that made us come to terms with ‘end of life’ decisions.  We had to discuss ‘what happens if…’ and who gets what if our estate has to be distributed.

 It was a stressful time and a stressful process, but it really has a way of helping you come to terms with your priorities.

 The medical crisis has passed, and everything turned out in the best case scenario rather than the worst.  It was out of my gratitude that everything had turned out ok that I realized that ‘someday’ didn’t have to be at the end of my life.

 Why was I waiting for someday when I could do something about it now?  What would be more perfect about someday?  It seemed dumb that I would put off making an impact in people’s lives until someday since I don’t know when someday is.

 By definition, 2009 is someday compared to 1995 – so the time has come and I’m not going to put it off anymore.

 Of course, I can’t do this alone, so I’m hoping that you will take the journey with me.  I’ll do the reading and you sponsor me.  Together, we will raise money to buy books for kids who otherwise wouldn’t have access.  Whether it is 100 books or 1,000,000 – we will have an impact.

 For each of us individually, the sacrifice is small.  However, as a group, our impact will be huge.

The Long Story….Part 1

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This is the story about what led me to start ‘Building a Bookshelf.’

It was sometime around 1994 or 1995 and there was a story on NPR about public school funding. It was about how public schools were having to cut funding for certain programs and the effect it had on the kids.

The journalist was reporting from an inner-city New York school. One of the examples she used in her story was about this school’s library and the fact that there was no money in the budget to keep the books current.

She pulled a book off the shelf that was about South Africa. She opened the book and read a section that said (this is paraphrased since I can’t remember the exact quote from a decade ago) that Nelson Mandela was someone who had opposed apartheid publicly and had been convicted of treason, sentenced to death, and hanged.

This story was being broadcast at a time when Nelson Mandela was the recently elected President of South Africa and apartheid had been overthrown (or whatever it is that we did to it).

I was completely flabbergasted. First, it was such a triumphant and inspiring moment when Mandela became president that I felt that everyone on earth should know about it. It is one of those rare moments when something so spectacularly good happens that the entire human race is lifted up.

Second, think of the difference in impact that the story has on an inner-city kid with the two alternate endings:
• Fight against injustice and stand-up for what you believe – against all odds – and you will be hanged.
OR
• Fight against injustice and stand up for what you believe – against all odds – and you can prevail and rise to the highest level of success.

Kids have enough negative in their lives. They don’t need false negatives too. Heck – the same goes for adults!

I vowed right then and there that ‘someday’ I would do what I could to make sure that kids have access to books. So, it has been rattling around in my brain ever since.

And then ‘someday’ finally came.

Stay tuned for the second half of the story