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Category Archives: Giving Back

Human Library Project

Have ever wished you could have a conversation with someone different?  Perhaps someone who lives in a different place or has a different job or just someone who views the world differently.  The Toronto Public Library is making that possible through the Human Library Project.  People from different walks of life volunteer as “human books.”  One can visit the library and check out a person for 30 minutes.  Then just sit and talk.  The hope behind this idea is to break down barriers and prejudices.  I find this idea both intriguing and lovely.  I do wish I lived in Toronto so I could check out a person, talk, and learn.  What do you think about the Human Library Project?  Would you participate?  Who would you want to check out and chat with?  If I’ve piqued your interest click here and learn more.

Don’t forget to sign up for my Valentine’s Day Giveaway! You could win a pretty pair of heart earrings for your Valentine! Click here to enter and learn more.

Out of Print

The other day while perusing Modcloth’s blog, ModLife, I discovered this bookish enterprise. Out of Print makes Tees displaying out of print book covers and for each shirt sold they donate a book to Books for Africa. The shirts are fun conversation starters and you’re giving back! I just love the whole idea and had to share with all of you.

Click here to visit Out of Print and check out the interview with the owners by clicking the above link to ModLife.

A bookstore that gives back

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I just discovered this wonderful online bookstore and wanted to pass on this delightful find. Better World Books has an astonishing number of new and used books covering every subject or interest you may have. They do not charge any shipping in the US and only $3.97 worldwide. Their prices are some of the best I’ve ever seen. The truly inspiring thing about this bookstore is that they fund worldwide literacy programs. This means that a portion of every dollar you spend helps people around the world discover the power and magic of the written word. They manage to do all of this while being mindful of the environment and shipping in eco-friendly packaging as well as allowing you the opportunity to offset the carbon footprint caused by the shipping of your books. I excitedly placed my first order last Wednesday, April 29 and received confirmation immediately via my email. I received another email on April 30 informing me that my order had been shipped that day. The letter was so funny and cute. It was written as though it was coming from the books I ordered. I am quite enchanted with this letter and would like to share an excerpt with you.

Hello Melissa,(Your book(s) asked to write you a personal note – it seemed unusual, but who are we to say no?)

Holy canasta! It’s me… it’s me! I can’t believe it is actually me! You could have picked any of over 2 million books but you picked me! I’ve got to get packed! How is the weather where you live? Will I need a dust jacket? I can’t believe I’m leaving Mishawaka, Indiana already – the friendly people, the Hummer plant, the Linebacker Lounge – so many memories. I don’t have much time to say goodbye to everyone, but it’s time to see the world!

I can’t wait to meet you! You sound like such a well read person. Although, I have to say, it sure has taken you a while! I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but how would you like to spend five months sandwiched between Jane Eyre (drama queen)and Fundamentals of Thermodynamics (pyromaniac)? At least Jane was an upgrade from that stupid book on brewing beer. How many times did the ol’ brewmaster have one too many and topple off our shelf at 2am?

I know the trip to meet you will be long and fraught with peril, but after the close calls I’ve had, I’m ready for anything (besides, some of my best friends are suspense novels). Just five months ago, I thought I was a goner. My owner was moving and couldn’t take me with her. I was sure I was landfill bait until I ended up in a Better World Books book drive bin. Thanks to your socially conscious book shopping, I’ve found a new home. Even better, your book buying dollars are helping kids read from Brazil to Botswana.

But hey, enough about me, I’ve been asked to brief you on a few things:

It was signed by the titles of the books ordered. My books arrived today and all are in good shape. All of the books I ordered were used so I wasn’t expecting perfection. However, when buying used online one can never be certain if the book will fit the description given of its condition. This is not the case with Better World Books. Each book was exactly as described and as expected. This is a wonderful place to shop and I am already planning my next order. Each time I’ve named the bookstore, I’ve also provided a link, so please check out Better World Books for yourself. I hope you all have as wonderful an experience as I’ve had.

3/50 Project

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I just discovered this project courtesy of Vintage Indie and believe that it is a wonderful idea. Please check it out and give serious consideration to supporting your local businesses.

Dollar General Iffy Store Policy

Last week while I was reading a friend’s blog, I encountered the following story. It seems she was at the Dollar General Store and found a sweet Raggedy Ann and Andy book which wasn’t priced. She took it the register to find out the cost and was shocked when they threw the book in the trash. The cashier told my friend that it is a Dollar General Store policy to throw away anything that rings up at 1 cent. My friend later asked another cashier at another Dollar General if this was indeed a store policy. The cashier confirmed that it was indeed. This cashier even said that clothes had to be cut before being thrown away. After reading this story, I visited the Dollar General Store website. They claim on the website to support families, communities, and environmentally friendly practices. This policy does not seem to fit this description. Books, clothes, etc. could be donated to libraries, schools, thrift stores, charities, and so forth. Families and communities could be benefiting from these items. By donating these items Dollar General would be preventing items from finding their way into landfills thus benefiting the environment. On the menu bar of their website you will find a heading called “Our Stores.” Under this heading you will find “customer service.” Here you can leave a comment or concern of your own. I sent a comment via their website and have received no reply. Perhaps if enough of us send letters, comments, etc. we will get a response and can effect change. Thanks Robyn for making us aware of this policy and how we can make a difference. Click here to visit Dollar General’s website and leave a comment!  You can also write to the Dollar General CEO at the following address:

Richard Dreiling
Dollar General Corporation
100 Mission Ridge
Goodlettsville, TN 37072

Chemo Angels

I learned about Chemo Angels from a friend in my Chicks on Lit group on goodreads. I clicked on the link to check it out and found a wonderful program. There are Chemo Angels who send cards and small gifts weekly to someone going through Chemo. The organization will assign you a patient. They also have a card angels who send only cards and senior angels who send only to senior patients. It is so simple a way to cheer someone up and help someone going through a difficult time. It is also a wonderful way to volunteer and make a difference. I signed up right away and have been accepted. I am now, only waiting for my assignment. This is such a simple wonderful program. I wanted to share with the world and hopefully inspire someone else to become an angel. Click here to find out more! Patients can also sign up to receive a Chemo Angel. Just click to find out more about the program and you will see where you can sign up.

The Butterfly Project


I learned about this project only moments ago and simply had to share. The Holocaust Museum in Houston is trying to collect 1.5 million paper butterflies. Each butterfly is representative of each of the 1.5 million children who died during the Holocaust. The butterflies will be an exhibit that will go on display in the Spring of 2012. Click here to find out more information and to learn where you can send your butterfly.

In 1942, 19-year-old Pavel Friedman,
inside the Terezin concentration camp, wrote:

The Butterfly
The last, the very last
So richly, brightly, dazzingly yellow
Perhaps if the sun’s tears would sing
against a white stone…

Such a yellow
It’s carried lightly way up high
It went away, I’m sure
Because it wished
To kiss the world goodbye

For seven weeks I’ve lived in here
penned up inside this ghetto
But I have found what I love here
The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut branches in the court
Only I never saw another butterfly.

That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don’t live here in the ghetto.

Pavel Friedman died at Auschwitz in 1944

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